When we arrived at the village of Bejuco Aplastado, the locals were already working hard on finishing the cafeteria extension near the baseball field. We were energetic and ready to work. With 18 more enthusiastic teens that had just had a hearty breakfast, the construction team got a major boost. While some of us mixed and applied cement on bricks, others worked on leveling the ground for the foundation of the extension. It was a pretty hot day, but we stayed hydrated and took turns with each job. As we started to finish up each job and had free time, we headed over to the baseball field along with the local kids. Their smiles and laughter were contagious and refueled our energy levels. Some of the kids brought down baseball equipment and we decided to hold a small game. (My team won :*} ). For all the players this was the first time in a while that we had played baseball, and hitting the ball to the outfield felt outstanding.

Other than all the fun we had, we had a lot learn from today’s activities as well. We learned a lot about basic construction. (That’s right dad, I know how to mix cement and lay concrete blocks. Call me lazy now). Working in the community truly showed us the power of teamwork and commitment. Dedication to the work we were doing showed in the speed and quality of the cafeteria extension. We were inspired by the welcoming vibe of Bejuco Aplastado and truly felt at home. Each glimpser found a reason to love and continue helping others. It was truly changing.

As Leader of the Day I am extremely proud of the entire group. We were on time and got a lot of work done. The group seemed as dedicated to the community as Alex was to reach the base safely (he dived for it). When we got back to the accommodations, the group wrote letters to anyone that helped make our journey as life-changing as it was. This includes our amazing cook, driver, ambassadors, accommodation providers, dance coach, adult leadership team and donors. I read some of them, and the gratitude in these letters truly exemplifies how impactful this entire journey has been. Today we also realized that we only have two days and one night left! Yet the connections between the group just keep growing. As hard as it is to say goodbye to this beautiful country, we really do miss you guys and you should prepare the household to be vibrant again. We know you miss us more. Also we would all appreciate it very much if you prepare our favorite food when we get home. I miss Rajma Chawal.

Peace and Love

Darsh Grewal