45 Days and Counting!

The funds are raised (Thank you so much to all my donors. Every dollar means so much to the families we are building with.) The ticket is purchased. The travel doctor has been visited (happily only for anti-malarials and no shots this year). Visa application is at the embassy.

It’s all down to waiting and the details now.

I am so excited to be taking 14 wonderful people to Mozambique, including 2 former Randstad talent, 3 former teammates from my India build, a couple of Habitat veterans and some new folks on their first Global Village trip. I can’t wait to meet everyone in Maputo.


Meet our Families in Xai-Xai, Mozambique

One thing that I really love about the Habitat Mozambique program is that they share information about the families we’ll be working with in advance. My team (of 14 so far – there’s still room if you’d like to join us) will be building 2 houses with 2 families during our stay in Xai-Xai, Mozambique:

Nosta Cuna & 4 Children – Celeste (12), Eclipson (8), Cheila (5), and Juliao (1)

Nosta and her family

Nosta and her family

Nosta is a 32 years old, HIV positive widow. Her husband passed away almost two years ago, and when he died she was already pregnant with her youngest son Juliao who is also HIV positive.  After her husband died, Nosta was sent away by her in-laws, so she moved back to her mother’s plot where she and her children now reside. The house they live in is terribly small and in really bad condition.

Felixmina Matavel (42) and her 11 year old son Alvaro

Felixmina and her son

Felixmina and her son

Felixmina is a single mother – HIV positive and under treatment. Alvaro is currently in 6th grade. They live in a little shack which their neighbors helped build after their first home burned down. It is in really bad condition with a dirt floor and it leaks. Felixmina works on the fields in order to provide for her son. She sends him to school on a daily basis and does her best to help him with his school work but she only went as far as fourth grade herself. She says, “We have really been struggling, our house burnt down a while ago. Our neighbors were kind enough to help us rebuild it and also gave us zinc for the roof. But in January because of the cyclones the roof was almost blown away and it now leaks. We are forced to stand when it rains as the house is drenched. I feel so blessed that we have been selected; my dark days are now over. Thank you so much and may God bless you.”

If you’d like to help us build with them, click on the donate button to the right. If you’d like information about joining the team, drop me a note at gvlisaking@gmail.org.

Mozambique Featured in Habitat World

In the May issue of Habitat World magazine, you can read the story of three brothers from Xai-Xai, but I think the video tells their story better. This is the same town we’re going to and the same type of house we’ll be building.

It’s official – back to Xai-Xai, Mozambique



The proposal was accepted, everything is official and there’s a team headed to Xai-Xai, Mozambique on October 12 – 21, 2012. So, now I need teammates.

A few basics:

  • No construction experience is necessary. Just a willingness to have fun and be flexible if the schedule changes (or the lights go out).
  • The temperature is moderate – in October the average temperature is 74 degrees. It can get breezy in the evenings so you might want a light jacket.
  • Yes, the flight is long.

This will be my 7th Habitat trip, my 2nd time back to Xai-Xai, and my first time as a leader. If you’d like to learn more, drop me a note at gvlisaking@gmail.com.

Stamp of Approval

After completing a mix on online and in-person training, I am now officially a Habitat Global Village team leader. And as someone who does some of our client training, it was interesting to see how they keep 30+ adults engaged over several days. I was impressed with the mix of small group case studies, activities and whole group instruction that meant we weren’t just sitting in the dark watching PowerPoint slides all day.

Now, off to finalize a proposal!

Dedication Ceremony

As I’ve said before, every dedication ceremony is special in its own way. In Mozambique, the new homeowners stood inside the house with candles while the women sang. They asked the rest of us to surround the house, put our hands on it and fill it with our wishes for them.

As always, saying goodbye is the worst part of any Global Village trip.

Taking a break

Blowing Bubbles

Blowing Bubbles

Here’s a picture from my teammate and roommate Kelley that she took of me playing with the kids one day. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time – teaching them to blow bubbles, and watching them as they did it and chased the bubbles.