Sunday was our much needed Free Day. After eight straight days of field trips, tours, activities, seminars, and teaching English, we learned that lack of sleep can affect performance and mood. We slept in later than normal, some of us went to church, some of us played games, and some of us slept even more.
One of the most important people who inspired us was our GG leader, Louise, because she guided us through the whole day by saying things like, “go get everyone from upstairs to eat” and “make sure you account for everyone at the meeting”. In general, though, Louise really pushed us to step out of our comfort zones and stay on top of things, especially on a day where students were free to go explore on their own. And while we have seen and heard from many great leaders so far, today we stepped into the role of a leader and experienced it. Being Lider del Dia is not an easy task but together we overcame all the challenges to keep things together. We even made it to English Tutoring…on a Sunday night!
For us, being out of the country for the first time is a wonderful experience and we saw today that life in Panama is different from life at home. For example, in Panama, stores are closed on Sundays so that families can be together, unlike how in the United States Sundays are usually spent shopping or eating out.
We needed all the rest we could get though because our CAP project began today, so let’s “pass the torch” to today’s LDDs to tell you how Day One of our execution went:
Our day began with an early wake-up call at 7 am. As our first day of the Community Action Project began, we divided ourselves into separate groups and designated group leaders to manage their part of the four-part project. To clarify, our project was created to benefit the pueblo of Bajo Corral. It consists of environmental signs, small reforestation, a new school mural, a community gardening/compost area to reduce waste, and the restoration of the school bathrooms. Groups made progress in every area, and each group worked alongside the elementary students to include them in their school’s makeover. After four hours of profuse sweat, we finally sat for lunch and enjoyed lots of laughs and the company of the wonderful children (who returned from almuerzo in their own homes to be with us). They LOVE to talk and share their stories.
The students who attend Bajo Corral remained active in the projects all day, whether they were painting, moving bags of dirt, or scrubbing bathroom floors. They are a lot of fun, too, and we ran around A LOT. As the long day of labor came to an end, we left having learned hard work is crucial in order to make an impact. We also learned that when you are the Lider del Dia it is important to keep the group united because as our Global Glimpse family grows, we need to be even more connected. It was nice to have responsibilities that taught us how to be better people overall. One of the people who inspire our Global Glimpse Delegation is our bus driver, Ronaldo. Not only does he transport us where we need to go, but he also helps us with our CAP at Bajo Corral. He does the nitty-gritty work alongside us. He sweats. He shows us how things work. He goes out and finds fruit from trees nearby and shares them with us. He will make chicha for us tomorrow (fruit juice!). The days are hot and hardworking, but Ronaldo is willing to push through to help our Global Glimpse team. So, he leads us too.
We returned to the hotel, showered quickly, and then began preparing our English Tutoring lessons. We LOVE this experience… the class always ends too soon!
(Additional note from PC Nathan–If you want to see more pictures of the kids teaching English, you can follow @ifarhu_clasedeingles on Instagram! We set up this account to keep the high school students engaged with their classes and motivated to keep attending. It’s definitely worked. We’ve never seen Panamanian students so EXCITED for class. They ask me on Instagram, “when is the next class!” Our kids are really owning their roles as teachers. You should all be proud of them!)
Tomorrow will be Day Two of our CAP execution. Wish us luck!