Volunteer Vacation Day Seven: Last Day of Building

This was it – the end of the Global Village road. The final day of building had reached. When we pulled up that morning in the van we were greeted by several smiling Tajik children who extended their tiny hands for the shaking. As we walked away from our new friends to the house we saw a huge dump truck filled with dirt blocking our way. As you might guess now this dirt was dumped right in front of the gate. Ignited, we most definitely were, but also curious as to why the dirt couldn’t have shown up two days prior? No matter, we had work! Lots of it! We would go out with a volunteer bang on our last day building!

The mound of dirt was to be shoveled, placed in buckets and moved to the front porch area of the house. At the the time there was clutter filling the hole and once the clutter was removed we started on the task. I did some parts of the bucket line, but also got deeply engrossed with shoveling the dirt. Shoveling is not my strong suit. I have about zero upper body strength, so it takes a lot to really dig into the dirt, yet I was determined. As fast as the dirt had appeared, I wanted it to vanish. I started shoveling like a mad woman, quicker and quicker. Moving dirt wasn’t the only thing happening on this last day either. One volunteer was needed to make a cement paste for brick lying and there were two working on laying bricks in the window frame. I was seriously curious why none of this was thought of the first two days? It could have been they were waiting on materials, but everything we needed with the exception of the dirt appeared to have been there all along.

I wasn’t sure whether we would finish the work in half day’s time, but we did so with flying colors and as a special treat the women of the household made Kurutob! Now one of the other volunteers and me had been searching for this uniquely Dushanbe dish which is mentioned in the Lonely Plant guide in some restaurant we were never able to locate so we were thrilled the women decided to make it for us! I was so excited I’d asked if I could photograph this special occasion and gladly they let me snap away. After my photo session they rushed the large serving down to the worksite table were everyone was waiting to sample the dish. Overall, I believe it is safe to say all enjoyed the dish and I myself especially loved it!

But as I mentioned earlier this was it – the end of the Global Village road. We would return later only to provide the homeowner with gifts and say our final farewell in cleaner attire, but our manual labor was a wrap. Was our mission accomplished? Yes and no. Most of us always believe we can do more, that everyone can do more to help not just in the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, but in communities all over the world where there is a need for decent housing. For Dushanbe this was the first time a Global Village team had worked in the city and there is still a lot to learn for the affliiate and most certainly for any future volunteer who decides to embark on over to this incredible country.