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Hi! My name is Jeffrey Shu and I was the leader of the day (El Lider del Dia) for the second and final day of working on the community action project. Our project was to paint a room in La Casa de Cultura and to build a railing for the balcony. The day was jam-packed with activities and work. We finished our projects in La Casa de Cultura (which were not without complications) and then celebrated our job well done by hitting the discoteca (club)!

Our day started off with an early wake up call at 6:00 am. At 6:45, we headed as a group to Buffet Esteli without our leaders Matt and Erik. I put on my figurative crossing guard hat and made sure everyone crossed the streets safely. (I do miss intersections where cars actually stop!) After greeting basically every local we came across with a “Buenos Dias,” we finally reached the restaurant! Once there however, we were told that the kitchen staff was expecting us an hour later! We utilized this newly acquired free time to gather in our CAP groups and discuss what we needed to finish today. A couple of us went to the always aromatic and tempting bakery to buy some pastries while waiting for our breakfast to be prepared. Breakfast was an adventure in itself: Barry found a GIGANTIC moth the size of a shoe in the bathroom. Everyone scarfed down their food to make up for lost time (and escape from the killer moth).

We arrived to La Casa de Cultura and immediately started to work. We blasted some country music from Michael’s iPod and scraped the paint off the walls to the beat of the music. Many students from our English tutoring class came to help, and we were not shy giving them projects to complete. Some of us painted, some of us worked on varnishing and cementing down the railing for the balcony, and others cleaned up the aftermath of all the projects we did. Working on the CAP was a great bonding experience for the group. We sang while we worked, shared secrets while painting, and broke chairs just by sitting on them (well, at least I did). I ran around telling people to drink water (which I feel I picked up from my dad).

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Our GG leaders were supposed to come at 9:00, but arrived at 12:00 to test our independence and leadership skills. We were forced to solve a couple problems without their help. For example, we made a back-up plan in case Buffet Esteli did not deliver lunch. Luckily, lunch WAS delivered and we all took a short break from our hard work. Once we finished lunch, we got back to work and finished everything we needed to do. The paint, the trim, the balcony railing, and the clean up was all finished before we had to leave at 5:00. Before leaving, we reveled in the improvements we made and the beauty of all the projects we completed. The only thing we weren’t able to finish was the mini mural we were planning to do because the paint did not dry fast enough.

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We ate our dinner at the hostel and had a quick nightly meeting. We also did a self reflection about our work on the community action project. We discussed our leadership abilities and team skills. Everyone then got ready for the club! Everyone traded tips and tricks for proper club apparel. While waiting for the bus, we all took pictures of our beautiful outfits and gorgeous faces.

 

At El Semaforo, we met up with up with the other delegation and had loads of fun. Most of the music playing was in Spanish so Miss Nadia taught me how to dance. A lot of people got very into the groove of the club. Raymar bernied to every song and Doug just exuded swag. It was a good bonding experience for all of us and my friends in the other delegation.

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This group of tired and sweaty teenagers returned to the hostel at midnight. We all crashed immediately after returning. Shout out to the next leader of the day: the multitalented Sarah!

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Much love,
Jeffrey Shu

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