The Community Action Project (CAP) is a time that we all come together to create a beautiful and memorable gift for a community in need. On CAP delivery day #1, I was leader of the day (El Lider del Dia) along with Javier. We woke up at 6:00 am in order to get everyone else up and ready to go by 7:30. We ate breakfast at Quiero Mas and then headed off to the El Platanal Elementary School where we began our CAP Project at about 9:00 am. Throughout the time that we were there, all the Glimpsers split into groups and began to start different projects including building shelves, cleaning and fixing the bathrooms and painting the classrooms. It was great to see everyone working together including the families of the community. What surprised everyone was the amount of people from the community that showed up to contribute to the CAP. Farima later told us that the families had been waiting at the school since 7:00 am because they wanted to take part in creating a better learning atmosphere for their children. I was very touched by this because it reminded me of my parents who go out of their ways to contribute to my education as much as possible. The families of the community and our group worked well together to finish much more than we thought we would in one day.
We began to clean up and leave the school at about 3:30 pm. We headed back to the hostel and had free time for an hour. After, we prepared for our last real class of English tutoring by making small tests for our students. We then ate dinner at Quiero Mas and went to English tutoring from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. When we got back to the hostel we had our nightly meeting. At the meeting we discussed our question of the day, “what does it mean to serve others and what does it not mean?” As usual our group discussion was in depth and many people elaborated on different viewpoints that I didn’t even think of. Once we finished the nightly meeting, everyone got ready for bed and went to sleep after a long and hard day’s work.
Being leader of the day was actually a bit challenging for me. I am more of a go-with-the-flow kind of girl and I’m not very assertive. Not to mention, Javi’s leadership skills are through the roof so I had to make sure my voice was heard as well. I had to be conscious of my assertiveness so that I wasn’t too demanding. The entire group was spread out amongst different projects so I had to walk around and make sure everyone was staying on task and staying hydrated too. After being leader of the day, many people say they feel as though the group wasn’t listening to them but I beg to differ. I felt as though everyone treated Javi and me with respect and listened to the directions we gave them. Being leader of the day was definitely stressful at times but it was a great learning experience.
After missing my first opportunity at being our group’s second “El Lider Del Dia” (The Leader of the Day) due to a very unpleasant heat-stoke, all I could think about was how lucky I was that I didn’t actually have to deal with the responsibilities that follow being the leader. However, as the days past when more and more of my peers got to experience being the leader, my disappointment grew. I thought that since I would be the second person to be leader, out of twenty other students who have yet to be in my position, a lot of pressure to make an image of myself and set an example of what a leader should act like would fall onto my shoulders. Again, after seeing my other peers take on being a leader with so much passion and commitment, all I could think of then was how much of a second chance I wanted and needed.
My luck came through when I found out I was able to partner with another student in my delegation on their day to be leader. And just to add, the day I would again be leader happened to be one of our last couple of days here in the program, so from that I was able to learn more about being a well-shown leader from my peers whom exposed their strengths and weaknesses.
The theme of day for me and my partner Danielle was CAP Delivery #1. CAP, which stands for Community Action Project is a time for all of us to give something back to the Nicaraguan community, something to be memorable and cherished for hopefully a long time. Our day began with the normal “wake-up call” around 6:30 where all of the students would prepare themselves for the day to come. Once everyone got themselves together and ready, we would all meet at our “mid-point” in the hostel to then start our “count-off” where the students would speak out their designated number (1-22, being that there was 22 students) to hopefully conclude that everyone was indeed ready to leave for breakfast at Quiero Mas around 8:00( I say “around” because punctuality was usually hard to come by each day, but it didn’t make much of a difference in the end). After our well prepared breakfast we then loaded up a bus with all of the materials we would need to start our CAP Project. Our delegations CAP project was split into several smaller projects being