Hi everyone, today was the first day of the Community Action Project (CAP). Our goal was to start transforming the store for the women of La Ceramica Negra, and we made significant progress! Even though we are not adults, or even a huge group of teenagers, we still possess the power to impact the lives of others. We feel as if we are speaking for the entire delegation when we state that our achievements break the “lazy teenager” stereotype. Seeing the happiness on the womens’ faces as we gradually transformed a run-down shack into the store it is today was incredibly uplifting and motivating to everyone. Each person had valuable ideas to contribute and was passionate about the work they did. All of our passion manifested itself through the progress we made today. The entire community united to participate in the work. Even our bus driver, Marvin, stayed and helped with the construction. As a side note, Marvin is an incredibly talented driver – he drove the bus in reverse all the way up the uneven hill from the main road to the store. He did not have to stay and help as he was only being paid to drive and watch the bus, so it was incredible to see how willingly and cheerfully he volunteered his time and talents. As leaders of the day, we are incredibly proud of how everyone expressed their desire to give back to other people as this type of work is why we came to Nicaragua. We were especially proud of the quality of the work, for although we are not professional carpenters or painters or artists the store looks great so far. Being leaders of the day on such a tight schedule with so many different projects to keep track of was daunting at first. However, both of us feel as if we developed a good system of management and made sure everyone was participating and had all of the help and materials they needed. As the day progressed our confidence in leading grew because we realized that if we can manage a massive project like this one successfully, we can probably take on any challenge placed before us. We learned that being a leader is also being a follower, because we have to trust others to do their given task. You cannot be in every place at once, nor should you try to. A good leader trusts those around them and believes in their team. Through only intervening when necessary, you avoid stress and distraction. Each person had the choice to make a change or to slack off, and each person chose to make a difference. In reality, we were all El Lider Del Dia.
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