Hello we are Micaiah Bell and Vivian Tran and we were the leaders of the day for the second cap day. To start off the day we woke up early to the sound of the roosters. I sat on my bed as I watched Vivian struggle to get out of her mosquito net. 7 am hit and it was time to wake everyone up. I approached the boys cabin only to find them still sleeping comfortably in their beds. I attempted to wake them up again but nothing I tried worked. I talked to Vivian and thought to myself how could I get these boys to stop hibernating! Over the course of the trip I noticed that most of the boys were scared of bugs, I walked in to the room and I scream SHARIFF THERES A SPIDER ON YOUR BED. He instantly jumped off the top bunk and said “that’s not my bed the spider can have it!”. Everyone laughed and I said “oh, that got you up didn’t it” with a huge smile on my face. After a great morning laugh everyone was up getting ready for the long day that was ahead of us. We were all curious about what was for breakfast. A familiar smell roamed the dining area as Vivian looked at the food trying to guess what it was. Suddenly her eyes filled with terror and right then and there we all knew it was mangu. NOOOO. The rest of us arrived at breakfast and began our cuentas cabezas only to notice trece was missing. She was still in her bed not feeling well. She woke up with a fever and was not able to come along with us today. Although she was not able to attend we still kept her with us in spirit and included her in everything we accomplished today. We had a hardy breakfast, filled our water bottles and packed all our materials for the day in the bus.
We all piled in to Pichilin’s van and made our way to the center to finish what we had started. Today was amazing considering that on our first day of cap we were able to get more than half of the project done. When we arrived everyone was alert and ready to knock the project out! We made a hop scotch, painted a tire pyramid and even rounded up all the kids to put their hand prints on the walls. Benito painted three beautiful murals for the kids and even a tree on the outside of the center so that all the glimpsers could sign their names. Thanks Benito! It was amazing to see all the community adults and community children come out and support Boca De Nigua. All the kids were so eager to paint and play on the new tire structure we built for them. Many of them were a little too eager, mixing all the different paints and getting it all over the place. After we were finished we gathered everyone together to take a huge photo and to look at the beautiful project we had created as a whole. As much as we wanted to stay to take more photos and play with the kids we had to say our goodbyes and make our way to our final English class of the trip. It was really upsetting because we knew that this was probably the last time we would see these amazing people again but we knew they would remember us and the great piece we left behind.
We said our final goodbyes to the community members of Boca de Nigua and drove off into the sun as we waved farewells through the windows, catching one last glimpse of our masterpiece. The bus filled with excitement and relief as two days of hard work was finally over. Of course, most of us were tired from working in the sun, but as leaders of the day, they were always reminded to stay hydrated by Micaiah and I. We were now on our way to our last English tutoring class. Some emotions of happiness and sighs rang out since we were all worn out from the CAP Project but in the end we manage to pull through. Upon arriving to El Limon, the school, it so happened to be that someone has changed the lock. It was chaos. Everyone one of us waited in the blazing bus trying to make a positive out of this situation as our program coordinator, Elias, went to get the key. Our solution therefore was the take selfies with our cameras and handy dandy selfie stick, a very common thing to do in this delegation. Students started arriving as well as our ambassadors. Eventually, it was official. Our last English class has begun. We planned for a fun yet educational day. In some classes they played games and in others they reviewed. We ended class a little early to have some free time, taking pictures with the students and ambassadors and handing out some goodies. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye for most of us including myself as this was the last time we will be seeing our students. Plenty of pictures were taken and we did our last clean up.
Our last bus ride back to the Rancho with Pichilin was loud. Everyone was hungry from a long day. Dinner was alright and the nightly meeting was finished. During self-reflection, it started to feel real. We all learned and took something away from the CAP Project whether it was to appreciate the little things we have back home or to be compassionate when helping others rather than doing it just because you were forced to. This project was a window into reality most of us have never seen. To us, tires are just old dirty tires but to these kids it was like a brand new set of playground, something to keep them entertained as opposed to cellphones. It definitely got all of us thinking about the world and our lives. The trip is coming to a near end as our last days here are fun days. The 16 days here have gone by quick and the next thing we know we will be on a plane flying back home. We were 18 strangers turned family with a long lasting friendship. We can’t wait to go back to Cali to tell our family and friends everything we have experienced. Just two more days to go!