Friday, January 30, 2009

Meet the Mozambique Team #1

What an amazing team we have! Incredible people, all of you. Your backgrounds and interests are so diverse, which will make it all the more interesting and exciting. It will be great fun for us to travel and live with old friends, and to make a few more new friends while we're at it (it gives us a lot more options later on of where to stay when we are traveling around the US!!)

Members: Elinor Bacon, Bill Baxter, Bob Bell, Leslie Bell, Sis Carroll, Andrea DeLeon, Noele DeLeon, Jay Detarando, Tony Detarando, Margaret Forbes, DeDe Halfhill, Christian Huber, Rebekka Huber, Jeremy Johnson, Christiane Loehr, Jennifer Micolichek, Linda Ross, and Mark Ross.

Hello! My name is Noele DeLeon. I live in a suburb of Chicago not too far from my Aunt Andrea who is also going on this trip. I just graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Architecture. Actually constructing a building was not one of my collegiate assignments so this trip is such an exciting opportunity for me! I'm very interested in sustainable and relief housing. Traveling to Mozambique could not be a more perfect trip to go on after graduating (thank you Andrea!). This trip to Africa will be my second trip with Habitat for Humanity. I went to Alaska with Bob and my aunt in 2004. Habitat for Humanity are always wonderful life changing experiences and I can't wait to meet everyone. [This is a picture of my brother and I in London for last New years.]

Mark: For over 20 years I have worked as a minister. Before that, I worked in electical apparatus repair for my parents' family businesses in Alabama and south Texas. I was born in Missouri, but have lived in lots of different states, including my 7th grade year in Skagway, Alaska with my grandmother who was my school teacher there.

Linda and I were married in 2005 and have six adult children between us. We own a very hyperactive Border Collie named Buck and a rowdy old English Sheepdog named Moses, plus two cats.

Mozambique offers for me an opportunity to be helpful to people in a way outside my vocation. I do like to fix things which may be outside of my field of training. I love to spend my free time with Linda. I am not sure what I want to be when I grow up, and I am not sure that I want to grow up very much. But, I would like to grow down a little.

Bob - Hello Team Mozambique! I wanted to tell you how excited I am to meet and work with all of you in Mozambique. As some of you are aware Leslie and I lived in Alaska for many years where we raised our boys. This past winter, after Leslie and I led a GV team to Nepal, I returned to Alaska and worked in an Eskimo village near the Bering Sea for several weeks. It took some getting used to the cold once again, but I was able to adapt. I let the hair and beard grow a bit and started to feel at home again! I did come down to the “Lower 48” states a couple of times to see Leslie, resupply, and head back again.
I have always enjoyed visiting new places and learning new things. One of the most unique times I can remember was talking with, and helping to guide Buzz Aldrin (astronaut who walked on the moon) around on a glacier in Alaska. Now that guy did some traveling!
Learning to build houses seemed like a colossal endeavor to learn but breaking it up into smaller steps made it seem much more like a mathematical story problem to me and I just needed to work thru the process. Working with interesting people and building houses for folks that are so appreciative is a win/win situation for me.
I enjoy leading teams with Leslie - although on some teams I don’t seem to see much of her as we are busy doing different things. She definitely helps to get people organized beforehand and I’m no exception. She usually even gives me a haircut shortly before our departure to get me more presentable.
I have been accused of spinning a story or two on these GV teams. I really don’t know where that comes from and I definitely don’t think there is any truth to it.

This is a picture of me, just saying "hi" in advance.

Andrea: My occupations, past & present... I have Nursing degrees and did direct patient care for a few years. I have volunteered to be the team’s nurse. I am currently working as a Clinical Analyst using my nursing experience and computer technology to assist in the implementation of a clinical system. My part is to ensure that is tested thoroughly before the clinicians are able to use it.

The GV teams I have been on (where and when).... I have been on 7 GV trips to Anchorage, AK (2), Kauai, HI, Biloxi, MS, Siberia, Russia, PNG and Nepal This will be my forth international one. This is my fifth team with the Bells and my sixth with Bob. I have known the Bells since August of 2004 my first experience as a volunteer for Habitat. That was also Noele’s (Niece) first GV trip in which celebrated her graduation from high school. This time will be celebrating her graduation from the university.
What I'm looking forward to the most while in Mozambique is.... I am looking forward to working with all you special folks of the team and the people of Mozambique. I am also looking forward to the beauty of the country and their spirit. One of my favorite movies since childhood is Born Free, I can not wait to see lions in the wild. My travels have taken me to five continents this will be the sixth, one more to go! I like to spend my free time.... I enjoy running, playing the piano and working on projects around the house. Last year I ran my first marathon and got hook, I am running again this year’s Chicago marathon and will be celebrating 10 years of remission from Breast Cancer. I am running for the Pink Steak Team so I may need to run a few miles while in Mozambique. When I grow up, I want to be..... loving life and never loose the passion for living.
(picture is in Moscow, from our team to Siberia)

Margaret: I caught the GV bug in 2003 and had a great time on 4 different teams between 03 and 05, thanks to Leslie and Bob's fantastic leadership skill, great team members and wonderful host affiliates. This trip will be my 5th GV experience as a participant. In 2005, I moved from California to Alaska and have been wearing out the flight path between my home there (Healdsburg, where my children and grandchild live) and my home here (Anchorage, where my heart sings) ever since. I miss traveling and Global Village. It is time to get back to it! My job in Anchorage? I work for the local Habitat Affiliate where I manage Family Services and several other area...including coordinating Global Village Teams...about 18 of them by now! My favorite things in Alaska? Hiking and Cross Country Skiing, always with my fantastic dog, Tana, and just observing Nature and all her surprises. It will be great to meet you all half way around the world! Margaret

Hello all! I am Sean Clemson, I will be turning 18 in July, and will be the youngest member of the team! I have lived in Anchorage, AK my whole life, and just graduated from high school. I plan to defer from school for the fall 2009 semester to go on this adventure, and attend the University of Alaska Anchorage in Spring of 2010. I've decided to go join Habitat because I am constantly in a search for adventure, and Habitat for Humanity provides all the adventure I think I can handle. Adventure aside, I know this will help my future, because I plan to become a teacher someday, and the leadership and other experience I will gain will set me down the right path. I don't like staying put for so long, and Africa was calling. I waste my time playing music and hockey, but I love wandering around in the backwoods. Bob and Leslie have been family friends for at least my lifetime, and they are a great help in all that I intend to do regarding Habitat. I'm going into this with the mind set that nothing can go wrong, let's hope I'm right!

Greetings Team 2!! My name is DeDe. I know it goes without saying, but I am absolutely excited about this amazing opportunity! I’ve been obsessed with global travel ever since I graduated from college. Thanks to my job, I’ve been able to fuel that obsession and have traveled all over the world, luckily earning a paycheck at the same time! A grueling work schedule; however, has made it challenging at times to find the time to give back for all I’ve been blessed with. So, getting the opportunity to combine the two (travel and service to others) is more than I could ask for!! This is my first Habitat trip/experience and I’m thrilled to be able to immerse myself in the community/culture in a way that only this type of program allows you to do!

I currently call Arlington, Virginia home, but grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. I graduated from the University of Iowa with an undergraduate degree in Communications and from AMU with a graduate degree in Management. Putting all that school work to good use, I have spent the last 13 years working as a public relations/public affairs specialist for the executive branch of the U.S. government. I am now getting an inside look at the legislative branch of our country’s governing structure by participating in a year-long congressional fellowship on Capitol Hill where I advise a member of the Senate on Defense and Veteran issues! It’s very challenging and rewarding … just the way I like it! :-) I love to be outside, see new places and meet new people; therefore, I do believe Habitat-Mozambique is right up my alley. With all that said, I look forward to meeting all of you and am thrilled that we’ll get to share what I know will be an amazing experience.

Hey, fellow travelers! I am Linda Ross from the far southwest corner of Virginia. For over ten years I have been involved with Habitat, and this trip makes at least my tenth trip. I have taken the team leader training and have even co-led a trip to Alaska, but it is much more fun to be a regular team member and to make Bob and Leslie do the hard part. They do a fantastic job in everything they do, and this trip will prove to be no exception, I'm certain. I know a few of you from other teams, so I promise not to tell any embarrassing stories on you if you won't tell any on me. I have a husband, Mark, who has traveled with me, plus 6 children in 6 different states and two young granddaughters. Between Mark's 3 children and my 3, we have children in all of the U.S. time zones, and they range in age from 25-30. Currently I am a part-time "career coach" for two community colleges and I spend much of my time working with high school students (especially seniors). As a former guidance counselor, I enjoy the flexibility that this new job offers and particularly the ability to travel. In my next life I want to be an exotic dancer. (picture from team in Argentina)

Hello Team. My name is Rebekka Huber, I'm 33 years old. I'm living in Switzerland, in the town Basel, right at the border to France and Germany.I'm a physical therapist working with children. At the moment I'm working in a children Hospital but my future plan is to work self-employed. I like to travel and get to know different people and cultures. I look forward to the time with Habitat in Mozambique and I'm glad that I can share this experience with my husband Christian and of course with all of you.

Hello Mozambique-Team. I'm Christian Huber, 34 years old and I live in Basel, a small town in the north of Switzerland. I work in a Research and Development Team as a material scientist in the field of electrical connectors. After two trips to Africa - one to South Africa and once to Namibia I'm looking forward to visit Mozambique with my wife Rebekka and with the Habitat-Team and hopefully learn a lot about the people and culture in Mozambique.

Elinor Bacon - live in Washington DC where I’ve been for about ten years, in the Dupont/Logan area which I love because it is very urban and vibrant. I’m a real estate developer and have worked in the private and public sectors for more than 30 years in the field of housing and community development, including 4 years at HUD as a Clinton appointee where I managed Public Housing Capital Programs and HOPE VI, a program to transform severely distressed public housing and the lives of residents.
I have a Masters Degree in Chinese Studies from UC Berkeley and worked in the field of US China Relations before the US recognized China, to help elected officials, journalists, businesspeople and community leaders to learn more about China and rethink our country’s China policy. I led a trip to China focusing on urban issues in 1975, near the end of the Cultural Revolution, and have been back twice since.
I’m divorced and a mother of one marvelous daughter, Tolya, with whom I am very close. She lives in Oakland with her husband Otto (both are architects and builders) and the joy of my life, my two year old grandson Niko (and granddog, Oscar). Totally coincidentally Bob and Leslie knew Otto and his family when he was growing up in Homer Alaska, and taught him at school
I’m a yoga/Pilates enthusiast, cook and baker, walker, Zydeco dancer and movie goer.
I’ve been to Guyana and Papua New Guinea with Habitat. Leslie and Bob led the PNG trip and, for those of you who don’t know them, they are extraordinary leaders and wonderful people in every way. I’m very much looking forward to the Mozambique trip as I’ve never been to Africa and I’m excited that we will be building in a way that draws on traditional materials and techniques. I can’t wait to see friends from the PNG trip, and meet the rest of you! I’ll bring a Polaroid camera and film – a bit hit on the PNG Build.

Hello team members:
We, Christiane and Bill, received our packages and like the materials (as you can see in our first picture ;-) ) - lot’s of helpful suggestions for fundraising and information about the program! We are excited to be aboard.

A bit about us, let’s start with Christiane:
I am a novice to the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program, but familiar with the organization. I know the local HfH store very well from the donations and purchases I have made over the last years of home remodeling :). I am very excited that we are part of this particular project as it will help those most in need and least likely to receive help. I am confident that this will be an adventure and a wonderful experience, and I am looking forward to meeting you and to making a difference. Now it’s your turn, Bill.

I am also a novice to the Habitat for Humani ty Global Village program, but have led teams working on HfH homes in various areas throughout my life and have been a licensed contractor. Most HfH homes are built for families that have at least a little income. We chose this project because it focuses on a section of the population that needs the most help and would be unable to qualify for normal HfH assistance. I am excited that our team is diverse and our team leaders are experienced. I am positive that the experience will be very rewarding and educational, while helping those in most need. I look forward to meeting all of you online prior to meeting face to face.

My name is Tony. I became a widower in Feb ’07 after 40+ years of marriage. I live 60 miles west of Boston in the small town of Sturbridge, MA. With the exception of college and two early work years, I have always lived and worked within 10 miles of my current home. I have 2 sons and a daughter (40, 41,42) and 5 grandchildren (2 thru 11). All live less than 30 minutes away. I also enjoy close contact with a large extended family.

I’m President of a closely held (mostly family) high-tech manufacturing company I joined as a start-up 38 years ago. I have recently transferred all operational responsibilities to my two sons, but I still love to go to work every day. Over the years, I’ve been active on boards and committees of many community organizations and am currently very active with a Hospital and a Bank.

I like travel, most often with my family. The last 12 months included Italy with my two sisters, including a visit to the small village where our mother was born; Aruba, Orlando and Cape Cod with my children and grandchildren; New Zealand on my own. I am an avid puzzle solver (crosswords, sudoku, cryptograms, etc.). I like to walk and exercise on my Wii Fit.

This will be my second GV trip. My first was to New Zealand (this pix is from that build) earlier this year and I’m hooked. I think every trip description should contain the following disclaimer: “Warning: This activity could be habit-forming. Long-term addiction has occurred in a significant number of participants” My expectations include the opportunity to make a difference, while making new friends, working hard, having some fun and experiencing a completely new country and culture.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you and sharing a Mozambique adventure!

Sis - I've been involved with GV since 1995. I was on an airplane and happened to read about Global Village. I had no idea it existed. This build wll be #15. I live in Denver, have since college in the 60's. I have a limited property management business. I'm single, having raised 4 great kids, 3 of whom have been involved with Habitat over the years. My oldest two are married, thus far having produced 2 granddaughters, 2 and 4yrs. All live in Denver area. Just when I thought life couldn't get any better, there arrives my invite to join Bob and Leslie in Mozambique!

My picture was taken in Nepal in 2008, enjoying yet another ethnic meal! Leslie is on the left, I am on the right, with Josie, the Bells' next door neighbor, in the middle. Bob and Leslie reach out and touch all..........

I guess this is a great time to insert my profile also, and count Sis' picture above for both of us! We couldn't get Josie, in the middle, to go on this team, so just pretend that's Bob we're leaning on. I've been going around and around on this planet for 61 years. On some of those spins around I've met my life partner, raised 3 beautiful sons, lived in Alaska for some 30+ great years, taught the best 8th great kids in the best middle school, have had a great adventure with Habitat the last 13 years, and now I have the most beautiful granddaughter, Iris Peace. Bob and I love working together with Habitat teams, as well as our personal house projects at home. Gardening is my favorite leisure activity. I get my inspirations from other people. Bob teaches me confidence and optimism, my boys teach me about all the different ways there are to look at things, Habitat has taught me that a worthy goal is attainable, and team members constantly teach me that the world has an awful lot of generous, loving people in it. I can't wait to meet all of you. And oh, I LOVE ice cream!

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