It takes a village — not to raise a child, in this case — but to build a home.
Molokai Habitat for Humanity’s latest project brought 15 volunteers hailing from the mainland to Ho‘olehua as a part of Habitat’s Global Village program. The team was here for 10 days and left early last week, after making substantial headway for a home currently being built for the Kaai ‘ohana. It is expected to be completed in two months.
I was struck by the inanity of my reactions to a few things as I started the workday.
First, the bit of SQUEE when my badge worked to let me into the building, and then into my secured workspace. No reason it shouldn’t have worked, but it’s always nice when you return from an absence and you can still get into the office.
Second, someone stole my chair. I’m using a different chair that isn’t quite right, does not have the adjustments just the way I was accustomed before I left.
Next, my monitors are at the wrong height, and I can’t seem to get them where I want them to be despite wrestling with the adjustment arm half a dozen times in the hour I’ve been here so far.
My work email had 7,000 unread items in it, and Outlook is still yakking with the Exchange server to synchronize and index everything. So I can’t search or sort mail effectively yet.
And now I’m delayed in my work by an network credential that expired and I have updated, but has not propagated fully through my primary domain. I can’t connect to any network resources right now.
All of which seems absurdly important on the one hand—how am I supposed to get anything done if my primary communication methods aren’t working the way I need?—and laughably stupid on the other, because I just spent 11 days helping to build a house for a family who had been waiting more than 20 years for permission to build on their own land because a government bureaucracy kept dragging its feet and piling delays at every turn.
A few hours’ wait for my email to sync and index and my network login upate to propagate?
Matt: youve been working a hell of a lot lately Don: Yuh.. I don’t have a carpool anymore, so it’s an easy way to avoid traffic, and I also want to bank up hours so I can travel a lot over the next few months w/o using my paid time Matt: ohhh ok Matt: where you going? Don: San Diego in April, Salt Lake in May, Molokai in July, road trip in August/September Don: Possibly India in there somewhere too Don: Though the India thing would be for work, so no time off required for it. Matt: holy crappers Don: mmhmm Don: All but the India trip are definite Don: If the India travel plans had worked out as originally hoped, I’d be there now in fact Don: Would’ve left on/about the 6th of this month Matt: wow, why Salt Lake? Don: See friends who still live there, and participate in a charity golf tournament Don: Which by itself is amusing because I play golf like drunk people fuck Matt: ROFL Don: Hell of a thing, my golf game. I have a strong drive, I can get 150-200 yards sometimes, but I can’t aim to save my life. Don: It’s worth your scalp to be within 20 feet of me when I swing off the tee ;x Matt: lol I’ll keep that in mind
UPDATE: I hit my fund-raising goals in early June—thank you to everyone who donated! You can still make donations through my participant page linked below, but the full amount of your donation will go to the Moloka‘i Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
Our trip cost is $1,500 per person, which includes local transportation and the cultural and teamwork experiences of the trip. You can donate to support this effort by visiting my participant page and clicking one of the links in the You Can Help! box.
I loves me a vacation, but I hates me the return to every-day life.
I had 2,231 unread email messages in my work account. My “delete unnecessary mail” rules killed 825 of them, leaving 1,406 for me to review in some manner. The vast majority of these were threaded replies, so I knocked out a couple hundred more in short order by reading the newest messages first, but still. 1,406 unread messages over five workdays? Blargh.
I spent much of Sunday in a bleary-eyed fog of sorts. The flight back from Kaua‘i was a red-eye, Saturday at 22:30 HST to Sunday 07:10 PDT, and in my usual fashion I managed not to sleep a wink on the plane. But I didn’t want to muck up the days and nights by sleeping before Sunday night, so the day flashed by in this welter of confused imagery and sounds and unpacking and tripping over cats and trying very hard not to have to go to the grocery store because I was in no condition to drive.
Ended up sleeping about an hour midday, just enough to knock out the fuzzy feeling until it was time to retire for the night. But I was still on Kaua‘i time anyway—my brain wasn’t ready for bed at midnight because it was only 21:00 HST. Silly brain.
But now I’m back in the office, back to the usual daily bits of life, and it feels like the week I was in the tropics was maybe 17 minutes long. Except for the flights, which were each 3.5 years, give or take a month. Travelogue to come.