Facta non Verba

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On Friday November 24th the team members of Facta non Verba will depart for Siem Reap, Cambodia to help build homes for families in need. Look a their teampage for more information.

Click below for a photo album of this week



Laatste dag dans



HFH day 5



Nothing ventured, nothing gained

So we reached the fifth and final day of our Habitat Building Trip to Combodia. We left the hotel around 7.30am for the building location about one hour from Siem Reap. We finalized the planned building activities and cleaning the building sites at both houses early afternoon after a lunch together with the two families. Both houses where decorated with garlands and balloons in preparation of the hand-over ceremony (dedication). At 2.30pm the dedication of house 2 started with a ribbon cutting ceremony in which we all took part before the family finally cut the ribbon while flowers where thrown by all that where present. After that we all stood in a circle and passed the Habitat 'Key' to the house the the family. To be followed by a group picture being taken. The grandfather of the family blessed us and our families in front of the house by sprinkling water on us. We went back to house 1 to perform the same dedication ceremony with the family.

After the dedications we all met in the main tent for formal closure of the event. Hyon spoke on behalf of our team and mentioned that 'we all had different reasons to participate but where all grateful to have been invited into the life and homes of the families. This to make a difference in their and our own life. They were long and hard working hours but very worthwhile'. Also the local workers gave us compliments on being hard and fast workers. The local Habitat team thanked us for the beautiful week with a lot of energy and hoped to see us again. Both families spoke with a lot of emotion and felt they could offer us nothing in return for what we did. They wished us and our family good luck and success and a safe trip home. Each of the families received a framed photo of our team to put into their new home and fruitbaskets where offered to the families and local workers. We where all given a handcrafted parrot to take home which was made by one of the neighbours. Finally waterfilter buckets where given to both families. To close the week a local traditional 'baby powder' party was arranged where we all rubbed baby powder in each other faces with  loud music in the background.

After an emotional goodbye we for the last time left the village back to the hotel.
It may have been the last day at the building site, but tomorrow is the first day of us having memories filled with gratitude and fun. Our group started of as colleagues and ended up as friends, 2 families who started the week with a rather bleak future, have gained a house and there fore the opportunity for a brighter future. We all agree that the week presented a roller coaster of emotions: laughing, crying, anxiety, excitement and amazement. Basically a typical habitat building week, but for us a fantastic, but above all humbling experience. We are a lucky bunch.

And remember, what ever happens, we will always have Cambodia

HFH day 4



Day Four Blog

Team Facta non Verba started day four with full promise. Waiting in the bus, airco turned off, we got a free sauna: what more could one ask for? Our driver Mano arrived, cold breezes blowing and we were off again on the one hour drive down road six. Will Jacco our fearless H4H leader realize his dream of an on-time departure? Only tomorrow will tell.

Hmm, so David and Erica have the challenge of this days blog, following a high standard. Let’s start at the end of the day and with the highlight, then see if we can hold your attention. Namely we held and filmed two moving interviews with “our” families, aided in translation by the ever charming and helpful Eric, guide and friend, H4H mentor.

Family one, the Tak family, told us that her neighbors didn’t believe her family would get a new house. She said that she had lived for some years as the poor family with the worst shack in the neighborhood, and looked forward to feeling that stigma lifted. She was grateful for all our help and we thanked her for her warmth and kindness. She hopes for the future to support all her children finishing their schooling so that their futures might be brighter than her present.

Family two, Pheak family, told us that she was happy to have a better home for her handicapped grandson. They would use the old buildings for livestock and one as accommodation in case immediate family needed it. She hopes with the new house to begin to cultivate vegetables as an extra source of family income.

Between the interviews the friend and confidant of the Pheak family was eager to show us her house. Mistakenly we thought that she was the immediate neighbour, but after a twenty minute brisk walk in the 35 degrees sun we reached her home. She was proud to show her tv, table and for our standards modest but clean accommodation. On the way we walked through a neighborhood of palms, bananas, jack fruit trees and other exotics. Sonia’s face lit up like a three year old when Eric showed her the way the leaf from the buyan tree can be used to blow “soap” bubbles (like we make with washing liquid and water).

Debora managed to play with the handicapped Pheak Tokla and we caught all on video. Smiles and gurgles of pure joy, and this time without managing to over excite him. It was THE CUTE factor of the trip so far.

David and Ester (locally known as Easter ... and we may export this back home) knew they’d be building, but were surprised to find themselves building spring rolls for the team lunch!

Oh, and regards the building work: progress on the houses are coming together nicely. House one is nearly complete. Celia and Erica may or may not have placed the bamboo bars on the porch 5 centimeters apart, however they look pretty fine and the walls are up.

House two: All the walls are up and painting had begun. We’re lacking stairs to heaven - but we will fix that tomorrow. The brick stairwell foundation is in and filled out with mud. Sonia clearly hadn’t got enough of the Frangipani hotel spa judging the amount of mud baths she had filling the stairwell brick foundations with mud! Once dry, just the timber work to do tomorrow.

Day 5 (the last building day) is fast approaching ...

Erica Carr& David Faik

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