Dean’s eager to get back to Cambodia
Dean Eager will make his biennial trip to Cambodia in November to help build homes, and he will be taking along something that make him even more popular – footballs.
While taking presents for the families gifts is discouraged, Mr Eager gives a bag of footballs to the locals and said that always went down a treat.
The language barrier might be restrictive, but take out a football and you could bring any nationalities together, he said.
The Western Suburbs Soccer Club’s junior convener and Grenada- based business owner previously journeyed to Phnom Penh in 2009 and 2011. This is his second trip as a team leader.
The Pauatahanui man will lead 10 New Zealanders – bankers, mothers and business owners among them, all from the Porirua basin.
The Smile Village Project, on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, brings together hundreds of volunteers from around the globe to build 50 homes in a week.
The homes are built from concrete blocks and have corrugated roofs, and outdoor toilet facilities.
There were challenges, Mr Eager said.
‘‘In 2009, the temperature was in the 40s and until you get the walls up, you’re exposed to the heat. I went through nine litres of water in my first day.
‘‘And then you’ve got the snakes and scorpions coming out of the cold at night; you don’t see them until the next day.’’
Mr Eager said it was his chance to give something back.
‘‘When you leave this planet you know it [ the house he helped build] will still be there. You’re giving one family a chance to have a healthier life and the kids are better for it.
‘‘It’s a big commitment to go over there, but when you hand over the keys, that’s what it’s all about.’’
Constructing homes for Habitat is something tangible.
‘‘I don’t want to bag other aid organisations, but when we build these homes, they will last for generations. It’s something very real.’’
Mr Eager said the project’s opening day is attended by the country’s king and there is a great chance to mix with other volunteers from around the world.
Some of his team will take the opportunity to see Thailand. But he will be on the first flight back, with family and business commitments requiring attention.
Each member of Mr Eager’s team will fork out $4500 to go to Cambodia.
To find out more, volunteer or make a donation, go to habitat. org.nz.