Hola from Esteli!
My name is Resha Panda and today I was Lider Del Dia for the last day of our CAP (Community Action Project), which benefitted Fundacion Cristal, a self-sustainable organization that priorities inclusion for students with learning disabilities (for more information about the school and our project in specific, please refer to the previous two blogs from the nights before). Today, our delegation successfully completed our three-day long project of labeling and restoring the plants in their community garden, as well as the school itself, and it was definitely incredibly satisfying after watching the project come together at the end. After pushing through the last day, our CAP project was something all of the Glimpsers can say was a lot of work, but with a very fulfilling ending.
To give a brief description of the activities of the day, the Glimpsers started off with a 7:00 wakeup call and were treated with a breakfast which consisted of gallo pinto, fried plantains, and sausage. Afterwards, we got onto the bus filled with excitement (even though it was quite literally pouring) to finish our project, because today was the day where we would truly see if it turned out to be a success. After reaching the Foundation at around 10, (with quick stops for varnish and a piñata for the students to celebrate the completion of the project) we all got to work decorating tires, painting and labeling signs, creating a more decorative center garden, and paving a pathway for the students to walk, surrounded by the decorated tires. Lunch was at 12, packed generously by the hostel, and then we all continued to work (mainly on finishing all the multi-colored signs) in the pouring rain. At around 3:00, we were able to watch the students enjoy, and quite literally, fight for the candy in the piñata, which was truly a heart-warming experience to see their happiness. Once completely finishing the project at around 4:00, the Glimpsers headed back to the hotel, where we got ready for our English tutoring for that night, as well as feasted on Nicaraguan bean enchiladas. English tutoring was also a well-spent two hours with our respective classes, and the day came to an end with our self-reflection and nightly meeting.
One of the things that truly resonated with our delegation today is the effect we are able to have on students that we have never even met before, and how we potentially changed their lives for the better. Their innocence and pure joy of watching us trying to restore one of the areas they spend a lot of their time in is truly inspirational, as well as the fact they were also well-invested in trying to help us, even though they did not have a clear idea of what we were doing. One personal story that really stuck with me was towards the end of the day, when I was carrying approximately 10 signs down to the garden, and two little girls who were playing on the swings ran over and gave me a hug, and offered to help me carry the signs down to the garden. Little warm actions such as this makes the experience as a whole truly worthwhile, because even children who have not completely developed in terms of maturity due to their age are able to appreciate the work these strangers are doing for them. In addition to the gratitude shown by these children, their energy and joyfulness during the execution of the project, as well as the celebration of the piñata, was also an experience that made the project truly feel like a success, knowing that these children would be better equipped for the future than they ever were before.
As LDD (Lider Del Dia), it was a challenge to properly communicate between the several different groups who were working on completing separate parts of the project. It was also a really great learning experience, due to the fact that I was able to organize and then implement plans and ensure that our time was being used properly, especially since it was the last day we had to work on this specific project. I learned that if I want to be, I can be assertive; however, I can simultaneously not be confident with what I am trying to express. This showed me that as a leader I need to be more self-assured with my ideas and actions. Today was a really great day for me to be LDD because it incorporated the right amount of challenge with a huge reward, and it was truly an amazing, yet stressful, experience I can learn from in the future.
So, ultimately, our CAP project was a success! WOOHOO! Thank you for reading today’s blog and make sure you stay in tune for information about our Free Day tomorrow (blog written by Mikayla.) Keep your phones near you all of tomorrow, we have a chance to call home! Can’t wait to see you all very soon!