Quote of the Day: “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequaity exist in the world, none of us can truly rest.”

Question of the Day: How do you think this workshop can help the students center? What effect does it have on them?

Hello friends and families!

First off, shout out to Noreen Abad, your daughter is finally writing a blog. 😉

Our morning started with a trip to IFARHU, the school where we hold our English tutoring sessions. The original plan for Deconstructing Poverty was to teach all of the students how to make flower pots out of recycled bottles, paint them, and sell them; however, due to an unexpected ceremony for scholarship awards, only 11 out of 80 students were available. Although this was discouraging at first, our goal remained the same: to teach the students a sustainable method of creating additional income for their families and education.

For context, IFARHU is a boarding school for students who don’t have access to education in their hometowns. These students come from impoverished families and tragic situations and, in some cases, are orphans in need of a place to stay. There are stories too sad and serious to write about in this blog, but they are important to know because they help us to understand the level of importance that education holds in some students’ lives. We will never forget them.

After finishing the painted bottles, we headed to the living quarters on campus and began a DEEP clean. The rooms and bathrooms were filled with dead bugs and a strong scent of chlorine, yet the students getting ready for their next class were unbothered by any of it. As we scrubbed the grime off the faucets and swatted away moths and ants, we began to realize that this was their normal. In fact, since many kids came from places of poverty, this was better than their normal. These students fought fiercely to get here and stay here, knowing that education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty in their families. And although we were only there for a portion of the day, we were able to show them a few more skills to hopefully further break that cycle.

The second part of the day after our experience at IFARHU was preparing for our CAP presentation with Maruquel, the head of NutreHogar. We put on our best face and rehearsed numerous times in preparation. Our project consists of four parts: painting the kitchen, hand-sewing bedsheets and aprons, deep cleaning the entire center, and spreading awareness of NutreHogar throughout Las Tablas. The presenters for each part were challenged to speak completely in Spanish, which they did successfully. After the presentation, Maruquel tweaked a few details of our plans to better fit the needs of the center and gave us permission to begin executing our projects tomorrow! Woohoo!

The third and final part of the day was when we returned to IFARHU for another English tutoring session. The topic of today’s lesson was “plural nouns”, and each Glimpser invented creative matching games and teaching methods to educate their students. The auditorium was filled with laughter, bonding, and education for both the students and the Glimpsers.

All in all, today was enlightening in many ways. From gaining a new appreciation of our school custodians to checking our privilege in terms of education and lifestyle, we were forced out of our comfort zone and into a world of learning. We committed to the specifics of our CAP, experienced compassion for the students at IFARHU, and were courageous when we delivered a business plan completely in Spanish to a local leader.

Finally, the Big Loves for today go to Nora Dubs for all the wonderful comments on these blogs, the kitchen staff for making us garlic bread at dinner, and to all the lovely people who read this blog! We had a lot of fun as the Liders del Dia and are honored to pass the torch to the next ones, Annakari and Lauren.

Amy & Jada