By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, Calif. – Somewhere in Peru, people are cheering for the USTA Texas Section 3.0 Senior men’s team.
The team, based in Tyler, Tx., is competing in this weekend’s 2010 USTA League 3.0 Senior National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Team member Ramsay Walker would have been working for Habitat For Humanity in Peru at the same time his team was playing in Indian Wells. However, the Texas senior men had only six qualified players on their roster, including Walker, and needed him to play so they could field a full team.
On Thursday, Walker flew 14 hours from Lima, Peru, through Atlanta before landing in Los Angeles and heading to Indian Wells.
Walker and his wife Boots have been involved with Habitat For Humanity for approximately 10 years. Habitat for Humanity, which was founded in 1976, is a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness. Habitat for Humanity has built over 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.
Walker and his wife, who live in Tyler, volunteer to organize and lead Habitat teams to various countries around the world. Walker is currently in the middle of his fifth international building project. He is based in La Florida, a small village located about two hours south of Lima.
"It’s where the real meaning in life is, not just Habitat, but any kind of service work," said Walker, as he spoke about the level of satisfaction being far more than anything be puts into a project.
"The biggest satisfaction personally is when you work hand-in-hand with the families that will be living in the houses, which we do in most countries," Walker said.
Walker and his Texas team have had a strong run at the 2010 USTA League 3.0 Senior National Championships as they won their first three matches and were in strong contention for a spot in Sunday’s semifinals.
"It’s great to be here. We’re probably the only team here that has a cheering section in Peru. Last night, they were all saying, ‘Vamos, vamos, vamos!’" said Walker, who is keeping in touch his supporters in Peru by e-mail. "They’re aware of our results from yesterday. They’re very excited."
After Nationals, Walker will fly back to Peru on Monday and return to work on Tuesday.
For more information on Habitat For Humanity, go to: http://www.habitat.org/default.aspx