Monday, January 21, 2008

Meet the 2008 PNG Team!!

Here we are, the adventuresome group that has already been hard at work raising funds, raising awareness amongst friends, family, and
colleagues. And soon to be working even harder to join a community in their efforts to eliminate poverty housing. We are small in number, but we make up for that in our diversity and energy. Enjoy "meeting" each other!

ELINOR - After receiving a Masters in Chinese Studies from Berkeley and working in the field of US-China relations, I changed careers to housing and community development and have been in this field for more than 35 years in the public and private sectors, from working as an inspector of houses undergoing renovation in Baltimore’s inner city; to serving as Deputy Asst Secretary at HUD under President Clinton, running the $4.2 billion HOPE VI Program to transform severely distressed public housing; to being a private developer of urban, infill, mixed-income, mixed-use developments, in a range of partnerships. Current projects include redevelopment of a 1960’s church in downtown DC into market rate offices, a sanctuary and space for a meals/social service program for homeless people; redeveloping 23 acres and a marina at DC’s waterfront; a 60 acre site in Ithaca New York into a mixed-use, mixed-income development; and a residential 600 unit housing HOPE VI project in Spartanburg SC. I’m a proud grandmother of a 5 month old grandson and proud mother/mother-in-law of a wonderful daughter and son-in-law, who recently launched architecture/builder firm in Oakland, California. Power yoga/pilates/power walking/Zydeco dance enthusiast and volunteer at a local shelter to co-lead a cooking class for homeless women. Built with Habitat in Guyana several years ago and very much looking forward to the build in Papua New Guinea with the Bells and other team members.

Dulcy - I’ve lived 31 years in Alaska and am now retired from working as a special ed teacher and speech therapist. I enjoy traveling and meeting people from all cultures and have been to approximately 30 countries, as well as the 50 U.S. states. I have also enjoyed many Alaskan trips which have often included bear watching, camping, hiking, and/or kayaking. My other interests include going to movies and plays, reading, rollerblading, and volunteering for the Red Cross. Although Alaska is my favorite state, I am ready to live in a warmer clime! This is my first trip with Habitat for Humanity.

Bob - I have been a tool dresser, potato planter, log peeler, dog musher, glacier guide, school principal/teacher, Habitat trainer, and dad. I'm known for telling stories, which I'm not really sure is accurate. I like to spend my free time watching animals, especially in Alaska. And I love to be in the outdoors. This picture is of my youngest son and I on our recent trek into the base camp of Everest. When I grow up, I want to be content with what I've done in my life. My birthday is on the same day each year, usually in the middle of the second run of sockeye salmon going up the Kenai River.

Leslie - I have been an Alaska Court clerk, director of youth camps, built my own log cabin, taught 8th grade, built/remodeled/demolished a few houses, served as full-time volunteer for HFHI as a Global Village trainer in Asia Pacific, and as a team leader. My most full-filling, ever-changing job has been, and still is, that of a mom. I enjoy spending my time with Bob in most of the things he does, especially in Alaska. I always look forward to meeting new people on teams, and experiencing different cultures with them. I can be easily bribed with ice cream and can eat more of it than anyone, our three sons excluded (they learned from the best).

Andrea - I have Nursing degrees and did direct patient care for a few years. I am currently working as a Clinical Analyst using my nursing experience and computer technology to assist in the implementation of a clinical system. My part is to ensure that is tested thoroughly before the clinicians are able to use it. The GV teams I have been on are to Anchorage, AK (2), Kauai, HI, Biloxi, MS and Serbia, Russia (the pictures is in Moscow, from the Siberia team). This will be my second international one. This is my third team with the Bells and my fourth with Bob. I think they can not get rid of me until I get it right! What I'm looking forward to the most while in PNG is working with all you special folks of the team and the PNG people. I am also looking forward to the beauty of the country and their spirit. This will be my first time working without any electricity. I think it is going to be fun to just let go and go with the flow. I like to spend my free time running, playing the piano, and now I have started quilting. I am hoping to finish painting my office before I leave. So that is one of the things keeping me occupied in the cold winter days here in the Chicago area. When I grow up, I want to be loving life and never loose the passion of living.

Hello everyone,
I’m Diane Erickson. I have lived in Alaska since 2001 and I am enjoying all things Alaskan, including our malamutes. The ‘puppy’ in the picture with me is Tuk (short for Tuktyuktuk). Tuk is 1 ½ years old and his little (only 120 pounds) brother Frost is 9 months old. The other members of my peaceable kingdom include Meowie and Miss Kitty and my significant other, John. John and I live up on Hiland Road. We are both teachers at the University of Alaska Anchorage. So, we have lots of time to enjoy the summers in Alaska. I am looking forward to meeting and building with all of you in PNG!

Julia Weiler and James Gambrill are two adventurous spirits with a host of varied experiences that have brought them together for this life’s journey… speaking of adventure, they met in skydiving school almost 15 years ago! Julia is currently a travel writer and editor whose latest book is titled "More Sand in My Bra: funny women write from the road, again!". She has also worked in the past as a veterinary technician, in antiques restoration, as a photographer, a painter, a builder, a hot pepper farmer, and the list goes on… James is currently tethered to his corporate job as a programmer/analyst, but has dabbled in millworking, lumber dealing, building, car washing, dreaming (didn’t get paid for that though), and once even moon lighted as a TV news studio cameraman/floor director. Someday when James and Julia finally do grow up, they hope to have lived a life full of experiences that kept them smiling and wealthy in health, spirit, and love.
We ourselves are nearing the end of our own building project… the two year “DIY” renovation of our humble 1905 house in Springfield OR. Throughout the process, we have been blessed by the many helping hands of friends, family, and neighbors...even complete strangers have stopped to offer advice or a quick hand up. In a roundabout sort of way, this is how we met Bob and Leslie, who later assisted us in the pouring of our new foundation… and somewhere along the way they twisted our rubber arms, re-inspired our adventurous spirit, and we decided to join them on the PNG build.
Although we are seasoned travelers, this will be our first time to PNG and our first GV trip ever. We are so looking forward to meeting all of the team, and even more to helping people build their dreams together.

Robbie Robinson - A Bostonian by birth, Robbie grew up on a farm in Woburn, Massachuetts.After a two year stint in the US Coast Guard, he graduated as a mechanicalengineer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He hasworked for both Exxon and Mobil in India (3yrs.), Indonesia (5yrs.),Singapore (5yrs.), South Africa (2yrs.)and Alaska (12yrs.). He has lived inAlaska 34 years and is active in church, Campus Ministry, the American Society for Quality, Toastmasters, Antique Car Club and community activitiessuch as FISH (delivering food to low income families). In the early years ofthe Anchorage HfH affiliate, he was the Construction Manager and currentlyworks on both local and international HfH projects such as the JCWP buildsin the Philippines, Mexico and India. He has also been on GV teams in theFiji Islands, North Long Beach (CA) and Belfast, Ireland. His wife, Marianne, is a psychoanalyst (PhD)and their three children(adults) and families are self-sustaining and pay taxes.

My name is Linda and I am a “late arrival” to this team. I live in a rather rural southwestern corner of Virginia and love to travel. This will make my 9th GV trip, I think. I have been to Americus, GA; Alaska twice; Nepal; Kauai; South Dakota; Argentina (the pictures was taken there); and most recently to Siberia. I love being on a team with Leslie and Bob, not only because they have become good friends, but also because they are so organized. Plus, they are fun to be with, too. I have recently found the perfect job as a “career coach” for a local community college. It is part-time and lets me have more freedom to travel than my school counseling job did. My husband Mark went with me to Kauai on one of the Bells’ teams in November of ‘05. I have taken the Habitat team leader training and have co-led a trip to Alaska. But it is more fun to simply be a team member and to let someone else do all of the planning and worrying. When I grow up I want to be an exotic dancer (my husband dared me to put this down. This will show him!). Besides living with Mark, I live with two crazy dogs who are in desperate need of therapy.

Martha Shortlidge - The Papua New Guinea trip will be my sixth Habitat trip since my retirement from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Prior to retiring in June, 2006, I worked as communications and development director in Westchester County, New York. When I’m not traveling to visit family in Indiana (my home state), my son Joel (29) and wife Lisa in New Hampshire or my son Aaron (26) in Kansas City, I live in Brewster, New York (located about 60 miles north of NYC).

My first Habitat/Thrivent trip in July, 2006, was to Senegal, West Africa. This was a wonderful experience which led me to become a Thrivent member and to sign up for another Habitat trip to Key West, Florida in January, 2007, followed by a trip to New Zealand in March, Anchorage in June and Northern Ireland in August All five of these trips were quite different, but each was very rewarding. In Senegal where the major language was Wolof, we completed a three room house during our stay. In Key West, we worked to repair a home damaged by Hurricane Wilma. On my most recent trip to Northern Ireland, we put a roof on a new house in the Shankill district.
I’m really looking forward to being part of the PNG team and the opportunity to combine travel to a wonderful destination with the work of Habitat.

Perc Walley - Born in Bloomington, Illinois. Grew up in Ottawa, Iowa. Upon high school graduation entered the U.S. Navy during WWII, serving in the South Pacific. After re-entry to civilian life, attended and graduated from Central College, Pella, Iowa. Entered Berkeley Baptist Divinity School, Berkeley, California. Later served with fellow truth-seekers in churches in Michigan and Iowa. Served as a director for a Camp & Conference Center in Iowa. Became acquainted with HFH on a visit to the Koinonia Partners commune in 1976. After my beloved wife's death in 1990 0 the year of our retirement - the Spirit was at work providing opportunities, along with the strength to meet the adjustments necessary to move forward. Habitat became that spring board for a new beginning. First, joining the traveling work teams in 1992 to celebrate Habitat's 15th year. Then, later, helping to organize the local affiliate in Webster County, Iowa. To complete the ccle, in 1996, I participated in my first GV work camp in Kasulu, Tanzania. And since then, I have joined a work team every year somewhere around the world. God has blessed me with many wonderful Habitat volunteers and partner family friends around the world. I look forward to this New Guinea work experience, because each of you will add your own inspiration to that which motivates me to be part of this Christ-like ministry.

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