Hola to everyone reading this oh so amazing blog written by yours truly Manpreet Narwal. I´m 17 and an up coming senior at James Logan High School in Union City California. I was proudly crowned the leader of the day for our groups first day of CAP execution. The time is ticking away as we only have three more days to take in as much of the Nicaraguan experience as we can. With an early morning start to dive right into our CAP project, each of our three committees began to turn their visions in actions.
At 6:45 on the dot, I arose to wake up my fellow GG students and leaders for the upcoming day’s adventure. At 7:30 we made our way to Quiero Mas to make sure we had our morning fix of Gallo Pinto, eggs, and of course a tortilla.
Since it was the first day of the CAP project it was important to keep in mind the question of the day, what are some practices for working in a team considering all 20 of us had to work together in an efficient and cooperative manner. While working on the project the focus was to create a fun and nurturing environment that would be sustainable once we depart. Thus the well known Chinese proverb played in with the day’s adventure, ¨Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish you feed him for a lifetime.¨ Instead of simply providing Los Ositos with money that would go toward food and not prove to be sustainable once we are gone, we went forth to provide them with long lasting tools for learning and everyday use such as making new chairs and tables as well as expanding their playground.
After breakfast we were off to Los Ositos through our favorite mode of transportation, the public bus!!! The cramped bus, crazy streets and amount of people that can pile into one bus never fails to amaze me every time I get on for the ride. Upon our arrival we began situating into our respective groups: murals/painting, building/repair, and the playground group. My building group unfortunately did not get the materials we needed until later on so we weren’t able to start any new projects but were able to fix old broken chairs and tables. The mural group went straight into their extraordinary artwork inside the learning classroom, drawing everything from the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, the solar system and little bears to represent the Los Ositos themselves. The playground group was able to get tires with a very generous donation from Leon´s local dump and were able to create a colorful array of tires resembling a snake as well as a bench for the kids to rest on. Since the mural committee had the most to do today I was so proud to see students from other groups going and offering their help once they were free. This definitely fits back in to the question of the day of how we should work with one another in this kind of group project and by having everyone lend a hand in each project it allowed the execution process to go by efficiently and faster.
As the loud peppy girl who won’t stop talking I made it my priority to make sure everyone stayed enthusiastic and involved in the process from the moment we began till we packed up to leave. It was important for me that everyone enjoyed the experience because as it has been stated countless times before this is a once in a lifetime experience and if we don’t make the best of it, it won´t make a lasting impact on us. Well let me just tell you keeping these teenagers energetic for those six hours was the easiest thing I have ever done, I didn’t even have to say anything I would walk around to see how everyone was doing and I would hear people singing, dancing, or talking about what they were going to do next. This unison allowed everyone to feel comfortable in accomplishing their tasks.
We ended our day by saying good bye to our beloved tutoring students for the past two weeks; they brought in traditional Nicaraguan food and we had a potluck for our last day with them. Saying our farewells made me realize how close we really are to ending our beloved trip, reminiscing about when I first arrived and now how much we have all grown since our first day in Nicaragua. It has definitely been a memorable day as well as a trip. Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters and through my time spent here in Nicaragua what matters to me is simply giving back to those who have spent countless days and nights bettering others lives without thinking about their own. By giving them something to hold on to as well as pass down from generation to generation keeps not only their memory alive but ours as well.