MB: And this is MB.
Matthew: And we are talking about our experience with Habitat For Humanity and our trip to Papua New Guinea with a group of Japanese students.
Matthew: MB, a lot of people ask, you know, you raise money and you give to these people and help out by building these houses but wouldn't it be more efficient just to send the money. Why do you need to spend the money on airfare and go?
MB: Right. A lot of people ask me that when I tell them about my experiences and I think that going to a different country and experiencing the culture firsthand is one of the most important parts about learning about Habitat and about being a part of Habitat. I think if you just donate money to any organization you don't have the firsthand experience and you don't have the chance to make new friends and to learn about a culture and to have such a wonderful time and if I just were writing a check or just sending some money I wouldn't feel like I had really made a difference but by going on these trips and taking students, especially with me, I feel like I'm a part of something and I can see firsthand that I've tried to help make a change and I can see firsthand how much the students have learned from it. How do you feel about that?
Matthew: I agree. I think that the, maybe more than the money gets donated, is the time of each individual and we all only have so much time on this earth and your presence is what is appreciated by other people. That's something that you can't experience, you can't feel the appreciation for what people feel when they actually get to meet you, and I think that maybe when we left at the end of the trip, and all the villagers showed up at the airport to say goodbye to us, it really showed that presence, being there is such an important part of what we do.
MB:Right. Yeah, I really agree. One thing that I always do when we go on Habitat trips is take off my watch. I don't think on these trips that you really need to worry about every minute and you don't need to worry about time because it's really important to be in the moment and to be a part of the experience and maybe we go for two weeks or ten days but you can't measure how much you change or how much you learn or how much you are moved by the experience. It's really priceless and a lot of times when I tell people about my experience I say I couldn't put an amount of money on how much I learned or how much I've been changed.
If you just donate money, you don't have the first-hand experience.
We gain 'first-hand experience' by doing something ourselves. Notice the following:
- First-hand experience is the fastest way to learn.
- I became an intern to gain some first-hand experience.
Your presence is what is appreciated.
We use the word 'presence' to talk about our attendance a particular place or event. Notice the following:
- Your presence is requested at the meeting tomorrow.
- You could feel the presence of ghosts in the old house.
It's really important to be in the moment.
To be 'in the moment' means to focus on the present, not the past or the future. Notice the following:
- For me, living in the moment means doing interesting things.
- To really enjoy life, it's important to be in the moment.
You can't measure how much you are moved by the experience.
When we are 'moved by an experience,' we feel strong emotions such as sadness or happiness. Notice the following:
- We were moved by the flood victims.
- I was moved by the kindness of the villagers.
It's priceless when I tell people about my experience.
We use the word 'priceless' to talk about something very special that we can't buy with money. Notice the following:
- Her big, beautiful smile is priceless.
- The view from the top of the mountain was priceless.