• August 24, 2012

Building the ICCC - A Summer in Woodbourne

Anne-Laure A. (Belgium), May G. and Domitille D. (France) spent some weeks helping us built the ICCC. What did this time in Woodbourne mean in their lives? Read on to find out:

“We would like to share with you our unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence at the beau­tiful ICCC of Heart’s Home. We spent 5 weeks building the ICCC’s con­fer­ence center which is needed to wel­come larger groups at the many events that are held here. It is among the first real­iza­tions of an ambi­tious con­struc­tion pro­ject spread across this 120 acre plot of land. The con­fer­ence center with its wooden struc­ture is envi­ron­men­tally friendly, alike most other build­ings at the ICCC. Our tasks included installing the insu­la­tion, fixing plas­ter­boards, set­ting wood planks, con­crete blocks and con­struc­tion joints, sanding, and piercing the chimney roof.

It was for us the ideal oppor­tu­nity to expe­ri­ence manual labor over an extended period of time. This phys­ical exer­cise was thor­ough and demanding, in a world where clicking away while sit­ting still behind a desk is very often the only activity required to com­plete tasks. A con­struc­tion site is a school of patience and per­se­ver­ance that enabled us to re-learn to appre­ciate the value of things built by the sweat of our brow. What a sat­is­fac­tion and relief it was to see the end of a wall sec­tion or a window frame after spending hours on it.

But this was not just any intern­ship on a con­struc­tion site. An intern­ship at Heart’s Home is a field expe­ri­ence within a mean­ingful human­i­tarian and spir­i­tual orga­ni­za­tion. We worked daily with the mem­bers of this reli­gious com­mu­nity. We were very touched by the trust they placed in us, and this from the very begin­ning, even before we knew the mys­teries of plas­ter­boards and screw guns. These signs of trust guided us towards humility, cau­tion in learning but also to an assur­ance that slowly built over the days. We were also com­pletely part of the com­mu­nity’s life, which meant daily mass and offices. This very favor­able envi­ron­ment favored many fun moments, beau­tiful encoun­ters and new friend­ships.

It is an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence in an unfor­get­table set­ting that we deeply rec­om­mend to future new­comers: now roll up your sleeves, there will be work for everyone!”

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