Hello family, friends, and other readers! My name is Tamika and today I was El Lider Del Dia. Today was a very busy day and I feel that as the leader of the day I was able to experience everything in a more complete way. We started our Community Action Project today, and as ELDD I learned more about how much careful planning is required to successfully execute a project. Although the day was very hectic and challenging at times, I’m glad I was able to be leader today because it felt especially rewarding to finally see our effort begin to produce results with the CAP.
We began the day with our typical wake up, get ready, and eat breakfast at Comedor Imabite, which was eggs, plantains, and tortilla today. Following breakfast we headed back to the hostal in order to meet with Norlan, the representative from Centro de Educacion Especial, the school which we are partnering with for our CAP. The purpose of this meeting was to get all our questions regarding the project answered so that we could go out an buy materials in the most informed fashion possible. Unfortunately, many of our questions were too specific for Norlan to answer off the top of his head, so he needed to go back to the school to do some research for us. While we waited for him to return, many of us took a little field trip to one of our favorite destinations, the supermarket! We are all glad to take advantage of the “going out without GG leaders” privilege that has been granted to us at this point in the trip and were eager to stock up on our favorite snacks of wafers, Pringles, and plantain chips.
When we returned from the supermarket, Norlan was at the hostal ready to answer our questions. Anthony, our CAP Administrative Manager, skillfully translated our many questions and Norlan’s detailed answers so that we had a better picture of the specific needs for our project. Once we acquired this information, Anthony and I discussed with the group how we would budget our money for the four action items we want to include for our CAP. The four areas we wish to focus on are repainting the walls, fixing the fans, fixing/cleaning the bathrooms, and cleaning accumulated trash from the outside area. I am the Finance Manager for the CAP, and balancing this leadership role with ELDD today was definitely difficult, but made easier by lots of help from fellow CAP leader Anthony, Noel and Nancy and the GG leaders, and our incredibly supportive delegation of Glimpsers.
Slightly behind schedule after meeting with Norlan, we headed out to purchase our materials in two groups. One group went to buy garden tools that the school requested for outdoor cleanup, and the other went to buy painting supplies. I was with the painting group, and while we encountered some issues at the paint store, we managed to purchase the necessary supplies, thanks in large part to Nancy’s negotiating skills! The paint store situation also taught us the importance of being able to adjust our plan in order to accommodate our budget and unexpected expenses.
After gathering all the supplies for CAP we quickly went to the comedor for lunch and then headed to the Special Education School to finally begin the actual delivery of our CAP. Because it was the first day, it took us a while to get organized, but after some initial scrambling we settled into two very effective working teams. One group focused on preparing and beginning to paint the walls, while the other group began moving trash, weeding, and raking leaves to start cleaning the outdoor area. Tomorrow we will have more time and be able to begin work on the other tasks, such as the fans and bathrooms.
I was very proud of everyone’s work during the two hours and a half of CAP execution today. Everyone was willing to work, even when that work required getting dirty or encountering ants and spiders. We also had to be creative in our trash moving project because we weren’t able to access the school’s shovels or wheelbarrows. To solve this problem, the clean up group devised a strategy of using a large metal sheet to transport the rubble out of the area. We were able to move a surprising amount of trash using this method! Overall, I think our first day of CAP work was a success and I’m excited to see what else we can accomplish in the next two days.
When we got back to the hostal after our CAP work, we had an hour of free time for showers before dinner.
Everyone was happy to rid themselves of the dirt of sweat of hard work. We also enjoyed each other’s company by sitting in the rocking chairs and chatting in the hostal’s common area, which is one of our favorite relaxing free time activities.
The rest of the evening was relatively relaxed. We had dinner at the comedor and then returned to the hostal for our nightly meeting. Because today is Saturday, we didn’t have tutoring today, and everyone enjoyed the extra evening free time after nightly meeting. Tomorrow we will continue our CAP, so stay tuned!