Natasha and Connor here, hope you all are having fun without us, as hard as that might be. We started off the day by waking everyone up with Van Halen, Journey, and the Beastie Boys. While a lot of people were excited about the music, not everyone was feeling the 6:30am wake up. After we got everyone out of their beds we had only 30 minutes to get ready and then hurried on to the bus. Our ride to IDIAF (the Agriculture Research Institute) was supposed to be an hour and a half, it only took an hour so we got there really early. Beacuse of this we got to witness someone lock their keys in the car, LOL. After taking a tour of the research nursery where we learned about many of the cool projects they are doing, like grafting two different types of mango trees together so the plant is more bacteria and drought resitant while maintaing the flavor of the best mangoes, we split into three groups and got to work. In our separate groups we helped the workers by weeding the plants, cleaning the area, and relocating the plant grow bags to areas which recieve more water. After laboring through these trying times together for three hours we developed a stronger sense of comraderie. We enjoyed a packed lunch with the workers who had showed us what to do, and after gifting the IDIAF Leaders with the certificate to show our gratitude, they returned the favor by suppling us with 2 crates of mangoes and starfruit each. As we were driving away, they flaged us down and gave us another crate of mangoes. All in all it was a successful morning that planted a great seed for the Nightly Meeting disscusion about food and the agriculture business in general.
After arriving back at the accomodations we had a while to change and get ready for the English Class Graduatiuon Ceremony, all of us were in our nicest clothes and collectively looked as spiffy as possible. We had to set up the school with rows of chairs and a speaker so we, Natasha and Connor, could MC for the ceremony. The ceremony went extremely well, every student went up in front of us, the ambassadors and their family and performed some sort of talent. From dialouges to poetry, singing to the life story of LeBron James each student did an amazing job displaying their skills. After everyone received their certficates we had cake and soda and finished it all off with some dancing. It was a very rewarding experience, especially when we had an open mic and one of the students came up and talked about how much the English language was for him, it was one of the best parts of the day. It seemed like people thought we were succesful as leaders of the day, but of course we had room to improve. Not only were the day’s activities fun and expanded our view of the world but it was a great experience to be in a leadership capacity that was beneficial on many different levels.
We miss all of you back home, but having a great time. And yes Moms, everyone is safe a sound. Adios!!
-Natasha and Connor