Hi!  Our names are Merit and Lucy and we were the leaders of the day for our first day working on the community action project (CAP).  Today we went to Los Calabazos to start fixing their stairs and to start making a sign for their front entrance. It was amazing to see our fellow Glimpsers and the members of the community work together and to see everyone pushing themselves to do their best, even if it was under the very hot sun.  It was even better to see the look on the community members’ faces when a bunch of teenage City kids were working almost as hard as them. A few things we learned today from this experience: you don’t have to be extremely skillful at a job to help. You can still put in the work and be useful even if you have no experience with the task.  Also, no one person can change the world, but they can inspire others to make change, like a ripple effect. Something that surprised us today was the reactions we got from the community members. At first they were very hesitant about giving us jobs, even though we had said that we were there to help get the job done. I guess that was understandable considering our inexperience, but the amount of hesitance was strange. But, as time went on, we found ourselves working very well together as we helped fix the stairs.

We were so proud of our peers for pushing themselves today. The work we were doing was not at all easy and the environment we were working in didn’t help, but we did our best and that’s all that matters.  And to top it off, we were encouraging each other and cheering each other on to keep up the group’s spirits fun, lively, and full of energy. For me (Lucy), the people who inspired me the most were Merit, my co-leader of the day, and Esperanza, the matriarch of Los Calabazos.  Merit inspired me because she was so full of energy and was encouraging everyone. Esperanza inspired me because of how happy she seemed seeing the work done to improve her community. Her happiness made me want to work that much harder.

For me (Merit), the most inspiring people were Jack Padalino (one of our GGLs), Claudio, and Lucy. Jack was so active and encouraging throughout the day, communicating with the locals of the community, asking them how we can offer assistance, and rarely taking breaks. He was a great role model and really inspired me to work harder. Claudio, a member of Los Calabazos, showed great commitment to the project. He was mixing cement and transporting it downhill in a very heavy wheelbarrow in the hot Dominican sun without complaint. Lastly, my motivator, my partner in crime, Lucy. She inspired me in the way she dedicated herself to working hard, even after getting sunscreen in her eyes, causing hours of discomfort. She displayed the three C’s of Global Glimpse (courage, compassion, commitment) amazingly well. She rarely took breaks, checked in on everyone, and was very flexible. She worked through the pain in her eyes and showed her commitment to the project. It brought me great joy to lead the day with her.

Being Lider del Dia was empowering for both of us. It was nice to feel a sense of power and responsibility. It was interesting to be in the position of giving orders instead of receiving them. For me (Lucy), I learned that I have more willpower than I had thought and that I shouldn’t doubt what I’m capable of. For me (Merit), I learned that I am a responsible individual because I loved how I took on my role and performed under fear, instead of having fear holding me back. I also learned that being vocal and assertive is not always bad, keeping track of time is important, and being stressed is detrimental to leading.  

Overall the CAP was very important for us as leaders, and as people because we learned how impactful hard work and passion can be for a community.