Saturday, February 19, 2011

Destination: Americus, Georgia

We just returned from an awesome field trip I initially called my Jimmy Carter Sandwich, but I think buffet would be a better word. Either way, the trip was about so much more than Jimmy Carter. It was a great trip for my children to experience the Great Depression, some civics, global poverty, and a great lesson in learning to help one another. Our original field trip plan was to visit Habitat for Humanity's Global Village.

Which is awesome!!! I don't care where you are driving from, it is worth the drive. Our visit began with an explanation of Habitat for Humanity's mission, good works and global poverty. It was a real eye opener for all of us. My favorite part was the explanation of the importance they place upon not attempting to 'Americanize' the people that they help. They don't try to change their culture or make judgements, only to help. They shared the example of families that live in a dump. It's a desirable location because their farm animals can eat the garbage and they don't have to buy feed. Habitat for Humanity didn't move them out and pass judgement. Instead they developed a home and situated it so that they could maintain their current lifestyle in a more sanitary manner. After a brief movie we were set free to follow the path. The first stop is the poverty area. This is a heart breaking reconstruction of how people actually live in many areas of the world.

It was heartbreaking. There were little stores and schools. Holes in walls and ceilings. Just so much discouragement. But once you move on to see the homes built in comparison you're heart swells. Of course families will feel hope working themselves out of such despair to a real home. (Now I have to admit that I was so overwhelmed I forgot to take many pics - so I lifted this next one from Habitat's site).

The above picture is of a home in an area that has flooding, thus the stilts. The majority of homes we saw were made of brick. There is a brick making demonstration as part of the tour as well. It was a wonderful day and a great way to thank our blessings.

I guess my post got a bit away from me, so I'll cover the other trips in later posts - so stay tuned!!

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