• January 29, 2010

Construction of the ICCC - A builder’s testimony

The roof of the house being built at the ICCC

Some per­ma­nent mem­bers and friends of Heart’s Home vol­un­teer to build by their own a house in the International Center for a Culture of Compassion (ICCC). Thomas Billot, a member of the Molokai Fraternity, tells us about his expe­ri­ence.

We are four, working on two struc­tures, one will be an office and a studio, while the other will have rooms, living-room, kitchen and chapel. In the office the step was to install elec­tricity and put all the plugs and switchers in, ready for the inspec­tion. I was working on it with Paul Walter, our man­ager.

The main building now has five more win­dows giving us a nice view of the woods, including the deers walking by. There are three win­dows for the chapel, one for the living room and one in front of the stairs on the first floor. Indeed, when the sun is rising, these open­ings give an amazing high­light on the house’s struc­ture. Most of the house is built with pure wood like red cedar, dou­glas making and so on.

Furthermore, we have raised a huge beam in the dining room for making a new con­fer­ence room above it. Rolando, our german friend, who came to the ICCC after his mis­sion in Argentina with Hearth’s Home, has done great work building the ceiling of this room.

The big job for us now is to get money in order to finish the smaller building before the summer, to be able to house more vol­un­teers during that period. We have installed ledgers and rafters in both the houses. Thankfully, they are in red cedar which means that they are resis­tant against rain and snow.

Indeed, despite that we are humble workers, to wel­come people from New-York (friends and retreatants) for “recharging their bat­teries”, and get­ting inspi­ra­tion for their work, is a strong moti­va­tion for car­rying on our work. Personally, this is my first expe­ri­ence in con­struc­tion work. Before coming to help I was studying phi­los­ophy. Using a hammer was really the most I knew in terms of manual expe­ri­ence. From a simple human aspect it seems com­pletely unbe­liev­able to be only four workers full time on this pro­ject. But through the grace of the ICCC, it means being sur­prised by one’s own skill to make some­thing that was unimag­in­able before. However, all will depend on the inspector for my becoming (or not) a real American elec­tri­cian! I’ll let you know. Anyway we are still waiting for more finan­cial, spir­i­tual, and... phys­ical help!

Thomas Billot

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or to vol­un­teer, please con­tact Sr Blandine, Secretary of Heart’s Home USA .

December 2008 Winter 2009 January 2010
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