Dean ea­ger to join big quick build

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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