1, 2, 3, Floor

by Christine Larson

If you have been to the Philippines you know of graciousness, a strong community life, sharing, cooperation, and much more. 

I was fortunate to join a Habitat Build in Dumaguete, Philippines in 2001.  I had the pleasure of working with several women all part of the Habitat lottery.  If you helped in a Habitat Build, your name was entered into a drawing for a future Habitat House.

Mary, one of several who entered the lottery, and I worked together for several days.  During this time I meet Mary’s beautiful daughter, we talked endlessly about family and topics ranging from religion, work, to bathrooms!  You had to appreciate and love Mary.  You, also, would know Mary was a very, very hard worker. 

Certain aspects of construction at Habitat Houses require a specialized craftsperson.  One extra feature in a home that required such services was a floor treatment adapted to local needs and climate. This special floor consisted of a thin smooth layer of red cement.  This floor made cleaning a breeze, was comfortable on bare feet, and looked strikingly beautiful.

The Philippine culture infuses cooperation and sharing.  Mary asked the specialized craftspersons, after their long day of work, to teach us how to put down this beautiful floor.  It wasn’t easy.  Remember don’t cement yourself into a wall; always work toward the door!!  Mary soon was an expert.

To this day I do not know if Mary was awarded a Habitat Home.  I am sure her home, where ever,  has a beautiful, smooth red floor.  It would be in her nature, and sense of cooperation and sharing to make sure many of her neighbors, also, have a beautiful red floor.   Satisfaction and  happiness is sharing, working together and learning from others.