Helping Hands of the Week (31 March): Geert van Nispen

Geert van Nispen

Geert van Nispen “(Re)building should be an experience, a real treat! !” is his slogan. Geert van Nispen joining our construction team is definitely a real treat for us! Juul can call him any time to ask for advice about the construction of the House of Plenty.

Juul en Geert have been busy working on the ceiling on the scaffold, which Modest’s brothergave on loan to the die het House of Plenty. The construction is moving very quickly. The floor, walls and electrics have been constructed in no time. Now we are adding the finishing touch to the ceiling by placing the plastering boards.

What is your share in the House of Plenty project?
Constructional advisor Geert is an asset in our project. “I think along with the project and lend a hand in the construction.” His company Bouwcab provides his customers with calculations in all sorts, both cost estimates and tender prices. He’s also taking care of the construction management. “Assisting in a project from A to Z”, he explains. And he provides his customers with independent advice on the construction.

Geert explains it’s important to always be ready to serve his customers. “A renovation or the construction of a new building should be fun, but the road to completion is often stressful. I try to prevent people from having stress, it should be a pleasant experience.”

Why do you contribute to the House of Plenty project?
“It’s a wonderful initiative. When I heard about the project, I wanted to see it. So I checked out the website and looked at the construction planning. Then I grabbed my toolbox and went off to the construction site.”

Geert thinks it’s important to make time for the House of Plenty. “I like doing physical labour and I enjoy meeting new people.”

In the meantime he has got acquainted with the ‘heart of the project’. “Modest and Juul are on the same wavelength. They work hard and fast.” Geert, our Helping Hands of the Week, is very handy and wants to mobilize more people. “I haven’t succeeded yet in drumming up more helping hands, but I am sure more people are willing to help as soon as the weather is more pleasant.”

Which forms of abundance are you confronted with in your work and life?
“I live in a society of abundance. In the construction industry it’s very normale to dispose of containers full of waste. It’s cheaper to get rid of it than to store it until it comes in handy again.”

How are you dealing with abundance now?
“I grew more aware of the fact that it’s better to re-use stuff yourself or give it to someone else than to throw it away. I am more aware of it now because I have met a lot of people at the project who are very concerned with abundance, because they don’t have the money to just get rid of things and buy new stuff or because they believe in the power of abundance.”

Geert thinks it absurd how people just throw things away. “Think about the huge amount of leftovers which restaurants dump in the dustbin. It’s a downright shame!”

Helping out on the construction of the House of Plenty changed his opinion on other matters as well. “It’s customary that lorries full of building materials arrive when construction workers need materials. When Juul asked me to finish the rear side of the building, I asked where to find the building materials. He pointed ata pile of boards which all had a different size and thickness. That’s how it works at the House of Plenty: if something doesn’t fit, you have to adjust it and you need to be able to think in a creative way.”

He smiles at the thought of it and says: “Working with volunteers makes the difference. If you work with professiomals, it’s way too expensive to operate in that way. A building worker charges about 35 euros per hour. You won’t let him work with material which doesn’t fit.”

What do you need, what are you looking for? Maybe a reader can help you out?
This is a difficult question for Geert. He shakes his head with a frown. “I really don’t know.” Maybe you know what Geert needs after reading his story?

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