ELEELE — Rick Rigley of Chicago said it was good to be doing something he was familiar with Wednesday at the Eleele Iluna neighborhood.
“I’ve been to other Habitat builds in other places,” Rigley said. “It’s a lot different building houses outside of America. This is my first build in Hawaii.”
Rigley was one of 11 Global Village volunteers who started work under Team Leader Kevin Bainbridge of Arizona. The team will spend the next several days volunteering and helping to build Kauai Habitat for Humanity homes in the ‘Ele‘ele neighborhood.
Jeannine Zaluski of New York state was one of those first time builders.
“I volunteer a lot painting with the county,” Zaluski said. “I thought I’d make a vacation out of this, but you need to plan early because I wanted to get out of New York before the snow fell in November. I was still delayed because my flight out was delayed at Albany and that pushed off my connecting flights.”
The Global Village volunteers engaged in activities ranging from unloading cartons of kitchen cabinets and countertops to painting the interior of two homes, Rigley’s experience pairing him with volunteer Devon Hudson to build the entry stairs to one of the new homes.
“This is a good project,” Hudson said. “I was here for the first house, and I’m still here. I’m never leaving. As long as Kauai Habitat has something for me to do, I’ll be here.”
Glenn Etow, volunteering with his wife Chris from Southern California, said the Global Village experience is a nice way to meet people outside the normal tourist path.
“My wife Chris has been volunteering for a long time,” Etow said. “When I retired, we decided we’d like to go traveling. This is a good way to do it because you’re doing something good for people while still getting to see new places — and you meet people you don’t normally do if you’re a tourist.”
Ma‘ika‘i Brown, the Kauai Habitat volunteer coordinator, said her family, the Kanaheles are performing a concert in Lihue, Friday.
“The group is getting excited,” she said. “I’m bringing them all to the Ni‘ihau experience. They can’t wait. But that is after we do the blessing of a Habitat home in Anahola.”
The group of 11 people will be working with Kauai Habitat through Dec. 12.