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Habitat for Humanity: Poland

It was an absolutely amazing trip. We got a lot accomplished on the flats and it was great to get to know the families, the team members, and the country.


The families and their prospective homes:



The team (I knew no one going into this):



Where we began:



Where we left off (after finishing the exterior walls and second floor interior walls):



How to build a house in three easy steps: glue, place, pound. That's it, folks!


 The "bricks" were something else--made out of a composite and about 45 pounds each. To get them up to the third floor, we had to lift each brick individually via a pulley system. We calculated that we lifted more than 500 bricks the first day.



The pulley system was secured by a hole in the wall with boards nailed at the base. OSHA-safe it was not.

I'm not sure what this was holding up. Hopefully not the ceiling!



Yes, we are sawing the bricks by hand.



Building rebar. Me? Who would have guessed?. I spent a day building it with one of the home owners. He didn't speak any English. I didn't speak any Polish. But with some very broken German and drawing a lot of pictures, we had some good conversations that day.



Notice the nice big caution sign on our tank of water where we washed our tools. Not sure what that was about but we were never in short supply of bottled water. In fact, we were advised to brush our teeth with it-never with tap.



Goofing off. Yeah, there was a lot of of that. Paper airplane contents, Arm wrestling. Get Well cards made out of leftover brick. Hamming it up.


There was a lot of sightseeing, including Auschwitz and Oskar Schindler's factory. There is nothing that would have prepared me for that emotional trip.


Various spots, including Warsaw, Poznan, and Krakow:


 The Wieliczka Salt Mine, in production since the 13th century. Everything was made of salt: the statues, the crystals in the chandeliers, and even a sculpture of Da Vinci's The Last Supper.