Our trip to Washington, D.C. on Saturday was filled with obstacles and new experiences. Our group of 7 navigated the unknown streets and metro system of D.C., finally reaching our destination; The Solar Decathlon Village. Having walked by numerous landmark monuments, the impact and importance of what had been created in the Village seemed heightened. It was amazing to see the Empowerhouse after weeks of looking at architectural renderings and photos posted by others on this blog. We also had the opportunity to look at some of the other houses in the competition, though, we have to say, we felt a bit competitive when we heard the CUNY Team touting their house as the ONLY urban design in the competition!
We (Kara and Anna) are picking up where others have left off in coordinating volunteers to complete the installation of the Empowerhouse, and it’s sister home in Deanwood. As this was our first trip to D.C. as ‘volunteer coordinators’ we hoped to meet with key members of Habitat for Humanity in Washington, D.C., with whom we will be working to supply enough volunteers to complete these homes. We were lucky that two key people were presenting a workshop at the Village while we were there. We learned some general information about Habitat for Humanity from the presentation. Then afterwards, we were introduced. We had the opportunity to ask a few questions, and most importantly, we get to start our working relationship with faces put to names – not just as email addresses.
After a full day, and our first day-trip to Washington D.C., our class once again sat together, silent in our exhaustion and anticipation for the beginning of our leg of the Empowerhouse journey.
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Anna Feltham & Kara Matthews
Students at Milano School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School
Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinators