Ever wondered what it’s like to join an EPIC Home event? Let Huey Teng give you her side of the story:
Chalk one up for EPIC Homes because we’ve done the seemingly impossible again! One day, the kids in the serene village of Kampung Hulu Tamu will speak of how 29 strangers rolled up their sleeves and with what seemed like bionic strength and determination – dug, hammered, drilled and ultimately; built an incredibly amazing home in a short span of 3 days: 20 April – 22 April 2012.
House #4 goes to Atan, an extremely shy and down-to-earth man, whom I heard is a real champion when it comes to snaring wild boars! Atan and his family of 7 had been living in a small, wooden home for over 20 years and living conditions were getting increasingly cramped, with some of his kids growing well into their teen years.
Consequent to being qualified as a recipient of EPIC Homes, Atan did something seriously mind-blowing: Weeks before construction was due to commence, he had pulled down his former home AND leveled out all the slopes on that plot of land. With no proper construction machinery, no mighty steamroller…HOW HE DO THAT??? Suffice to say, the thought of him preparing the land with his bare hands and basic tools got the team fired up more than ever for the build.
Atan, shy as he was, frequently came out to lend us a helping hand during the build.
Despite hearing so much about the previous house builds, I really had no idea what to expect from the one I was participating in. Being a first-timer in this, I couldn’t help feeling a little uncertain too when work began on the first day. Just ask my team mates, who had to endure my repeated asking, “Eh, Kristyn, Vincent, this is 4,650 mm right? I measuring correctly right???” during our first task, which was simply measuring the rafters and cutting them to their required lengths.
But as the day carried on, the uncertainties melted away and I gradually started getting a hang of things. Probably from secretly spying and adapting the positive attitude of my team members and the other participants – most of who have no experience whatsoever in building a home, but sure didn’t show it!
Under the scorching sun, through all the sweat, fatigue and pain, everyone was still smiling! I’ve never seen such a smiley bunch of people doing hard labour in my life. How can you not feel extra motivated by that?
See, happy faces while working. I kid you not! (Picture credit: Anny Tee)
Everyone just kept going and going, supporting one another with encouraging words like, “Nice work!” or “You so strong-lah!” or “Gambatte!” and not to forget, the constant reminders to “drink more water!”
I can personally vouch for their amazing support – from throwing wet towels to me when I was practically getting barbequed while working on the roof; to attending to my aid when I had an unfortunate accident with a steel beam. If finally having an excuse to use all the cool power tools wasn’t amazing enough, the chemistry among the participants certainly was for me.
Want to feel on top of the world? Try working on the roof =) (Picture credit: Kyle E)
With that kind of teamwork, persistence and energy going around, the house started coming together so swiftly, I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t some sort of sorcery. By the end of Day 1, the skeleton structure of the house was up. By Day 2, flooring and Onduline sheets for the roof were fully installed. And by Day 3, a kowtow-worthy house was completed. Before sundown too!
An astounding transformation in just 3 days. (Picture credit: Tommy Ten)
To add to the epic-ness of it all, we realised that not only is this currently one of the biggest and most detailed houses built by EPIC Homes, it is also the FIRST home to be completed in exactly 3 days. Woohoo! *Here’s to Team Atan! I don’t have to tell you guys how awesome all of you are =)*
At the end of the day, everyone was basking in the afterglow of an inspiring weekend (and probably of sunburn too). I don’t know who’s more overwhelmed with the whole thing – Atan and his family or us participants. All I know is, the stoke I get from being part of this epic journey is an unexplainable joy that I’m looking forward to experiencing again in the many builds to come!
And to Team Jamil, who was busy doing their bit at Kampung Hulu Tamu last weekend, I hope you had fun and will continue to keep the spirit up!
- Huey Teng -
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