Pure appreciation for hard work

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2014

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Gayle Rossiter is looking for people willing to roll their sleeves up to build houses for the less fortunate.

Rossiter, of Urenui, will fly to Nepal in November for the 2014 Habitat for Humanity Everest Build III project and she is on a search for volunteers to lend their skills to build houses for those in need.

Habitat aims to send 150 New Zealand volunteers to Chitwan to spend a week working alongside people from different parts of the globe to build 100 homes.

This is Rossiter's fifth year with the Habitat project and the upcoming November trip is her second visit to Nepal.

Rossiter says Nepal is a "very special" place for many New Zealanders and the two countries share a connection through Sir Edmund Hillary.

"It's a majestic place. The Nepalese people are very humble," Rossiter says.

Last year, Inglewood's Constable Darren Hayes went away for a week-long build to Rach Gia, in South Vietnam, and he strongly encourages volunteers to sign-up.

"Rather than just raising funds here and knowing that they go somewhere, actually getting hands on and meeting a family whose lives you're changing, that's pretty special."

Hayes' limited building skills did not stop him from chipping in to build a house for a childless couple.

"You didn't need any skills at all," he says. "You just learnt as you went. It was great."

Hayes says the villagers' living conditions were "very, very basic", utilising poles, woods or trees for a makeshift house.

Working under hot and humid conditions can be challenging. Hayes says he had to refill his drink bottle 15 times a day.

"We had a couple fall over from the heat."

But it was worth the hard work and the "pure appreciation" received from the villagers was "overwhelming," Hayes says.

■ Gayle Rossiter can be contacted at tids.rossi@gmail.com

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- Taranaki Daily News

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