Today we wrapped up the Community Action Projects with a big smile on our face and with our hard work. Four projects were accomplished in less than three days, which was impressive by the limited amount of time and resources we had. The projects we accomplished were painting an environmental education mural, planting trees and flowers around campus, revamping a basketball court, and creating a sustainable water filter.  The most inspiring person I met today was a man named Ramon. He is a very caring and hardworking man who is wise. He helped the tree group on how to work the earth’s crust to plant the trees. Everyone was very satisfied with the projects what had finished; and impressed by the before and after. Being Leader Del Dia was a challenge, but not impossible. Taking charge for a large group of people was a sort of stressful task. But at the end of the day I was really grateful for receiving the experience of what it was like to be the leader of the day.  What I learned about myself was that I could manage to have patience when people are distracted and not listening.

Since the last few delegates have spoken about the other three projects, I will focus on the water filter so you can get a better idea of what it is.  A Harvard professor let our resident Peace Corps volunteer, Scott Coppa, know that he had a water filter that was user friendly and collecting dust (we also found out later that the water filter was used as a bench!).  The water filter that we got consisted of seven different levels to get purified water. A lot of research had to be done in order to not only educate ourselves of how it worked, but also the community members of the school. The need for fresh clean water was a big part in the school because it was a resource that not a lot of children had at their home.  All our delegates had to do was “wash” the sand, gravel, and rocks 1,000,000,000 times (that’s an exaggeration) to “clean it” so that a certain bacteria, that would feed on the pathogens in the contaminated water, could thrive.  Did you get all of that?  🙂  At first, some thought the water project wasn’t going to work due to approval from the professor, general logistics, excessive “cleansing of the sand, etc- but it was successfully completed! We discovered that anything we set our mind to we can do.  I’m very proud of the objectives we got done by putting in a lot of effort.

We saw how a community coming together can go such a long way. What was surprising was that even though we stopped some of the projects due to some light rain, we still managed to get all of the jobs done in just a few hours. I’m very satisfied with the projects because when the children come back to school they will have a repainted basketball court to play on, potable water, a mural to admire, and in five years have full grown trees that will provide shade. I’m excited for the children to see the changes we have made in their school. I wished I could see the reaction on their faces, but sadly our trip has come almost to an end. Hopefully in the future years to come, other groups can add improvements to the school.

We have done many great things along the many days we’ve been here and can’t wait to get home back to our families. I really miss my home and can’t wait to see my family. We’ve learned so much about  what it is to be a community and help others out. Completing the projects definitely taught me about what it’s like to be humble and assist others with their needs.