Congressman visits North Bend, Habitat for Humanity site
August 11, 2009 · 9:09 AM
Nicholai Zavodov ignored the crowd mingling outside his future home as he dug in the dirt on Snoqualmie Ridge. The chatter, the business cards being exchanged, the camera flashbulbs firing, not even a Congressman’s presence phased five-year-old Nicholai. He was more interested in the baby teeth he’d recently lost.
The life that awaits him in Snoqualmie is a far cry from the one his family left behind in their native Moldova -- a ruggedly beautiful country that is also one of the poorest in Europe.
Nicholai, his infant sister, Vera and their parents, Iulia and Vladimir, are moving to the Valley with the help of East King County Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent for Lutherans, a financial service which paid for the Zavodov’s house.
United States Representative Dave Reichert, R-Wash., thanked volunteers, Friday, Aug. 7, at the site where their house is under construction. He gave the young family a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol Building.
The Zavodovs have lived in the U.S. for over four years, but it wasn’t until they were returning from their last trip to Moldova that they realized their home is here.
“When the aircraft landed, Nicholai said ‘I am home’,” Iulia Zavodov said. “It is his home, so it is our home.”
The house is one of seven being built this year in Snoqualmie’s Koinonia Ridge neighborhood. Two homes, including the Zavodov’s, are part of Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity -- a nationwide $125 million grant program paying for 313 homes this year.
“It’s more than just a home, it’s a place where families can build” a life, Reichert said.
The Zavodovs expect to be able to move into their house in early fall. Until then they are putting in ‘sweat equity’ -- recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home must help build their house alongside volunteers.
Reichert also made a stop Friday at North Bend, giving a congressional flag to officials in honor of the city’s centennial.