Dean eager to join big quick build
Dean Eager is not a builder by trade but he has helped construct homes that will last generations in Cambodia.
The Whitby resident will be taking time away from his business in November to join Habitat for Humanity volunteers in the Southeast Asian country, where they will build 20 homes in five days just outside the capital Phnom Penh.
More than 150 Kiwis will join 100 others from around the world in the project.
Dean previously went in 2009 and this year has taken on a role as team leader.
He will be responsible for coordinating ‘‘ 14 or 15’’ interested people from around New Zealand for the November 13-21 trip.
The cost to each person is about $ 4200, which includes travel, accommodation and food.
‘‘You don’t need to be a builder, just someone who wants to get stuck in,’’ Dean said.
‘‘Each family [whom the house is for] are required to help and you really form a bond with them; there’s a lot of emotion and excitement.
‘‘Before, some of the families were living in rubbish dumps.
‘‘ They would burrow in and make these caves.
‘‘People talk about life-changing experiences – I think it changes our lives more than the people we’re working for.’’
Dean says while the Red Cross and World Vision are worthy organisations who help in the region, constructing something ‘‘real’’ that could last hundreds of years makes more sense to him.
Sapping heat, long days and nasty creepy-crawlies have to be endured, along with being away from family and his business, Eager For Leisure, based in Grenada North. ‘‘There are dangers, definitely. ‘‘There are snakes and scorpions so you have to make sure your clothing and bags are checked properly every day.
‘‘When I went in 2009, about 30 people came down with heatstroke on the first day and you’re drinking water like you wouldn’t believe. The noise and the heat is incredible.
‘‘At the end of the day you’re knackered but it’s all worth it.’’
Last time, Dean took rugby balls and footballs with him, which made him instantly popular, and he hopes to take some artwork from children at Adven- ture School for the Cambodian families to put on their new walls.
For more information, call Habitat for Humanity on 0800 44 22 48, or to donate to Dean, go to habitat.org.nz and enter his name under ‘‘ donate now’’.
People can opt to buy material for the builds; bricks ($5 each), roof panels ($50) and doors ($100).
Cambodia calling: Dean Eager will be taking footballs with him to Cambodia later this year, but it’s building houses that will take up most of his time.