“If you want to change the world, be the change” -Mahatma Gandhi
Hi everybody! Ellie and Max here as Lideres del Dia for our final CAP Project delivery day. Everyone woke up bright and early for an impromptu morning meeting where the GG members discussed methods that the GG leaders could use to improve their leadership styles. After a breakfast of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, washed down with some tamarind juice, everyone had a chance to say what had been building up during the trip. Afterwards, the group felt good about clearing the air for the next two days.
Because the morning meeting ran long, we all hurriedly boarded the gua-gua in order to commute to Maguana al Medio for the final push in our CAP project. Even though a lot of people were tired and/or sore from the previous days of the project, everyone was excited to finally finish the project. Once we all arrived at the school, different teams were made to accomplish the different jobs; mixing cement, finishing the two murals, creating planters out of cinder blocks, making the sign for the garden, and playing with the schoolchildren. Everyone put in a lot of effort and as time went by, people switched jobs or created new jobs (like holding up a bulletin board to create shade for the mural painters). Some of us were stressed that we wouldn’t be able to finish all the tasks in the limited amount of time, especially because it seemed like the local workers were doing the majority of the building and that we were just assisting them. Everybody remained really positive while the local workers finished the floor, and our patience was rewarded with more jobs for everybody to be involved in; like carrying sand from a nearby yard to mix more cement or filling the planter boxes with dirt.
After a lunch of rice, beans, pork, chicken, and pasta, we all went to work on our last hour and a half of CAP work. A final moment of the project that gave everybody a sense of satisfaction was lifting and moving the (extremely heavy) cement table-top from where it was poured to its place on the cinder blocks. Almost all of the glimpsers, including the program coordinators, were called in to help the local workers move the slab of cement. After several attempts to move the slab, we finally slid it into a position to be picked up and moved it into place. After the table was in place, the cinder blocks were quickly painted and covered in handprints (some people were also covered in handprints). The Foundation of Women, Maguana al Medio was presented with Global Glimpse pictures and certification. The foundation, in return, presented Global Glimpse with a certificate of collaboration and an open invitation for the future.
After the CAP ceremony, we all got back into the gua-gua and headed back to Onaney to prepare for the graduation of the English classes. On the way back to Onaney, we experienced our first heavy downpour of the trip. Everyone rushed off the gua-gua to get into the showers and get ready for graduation, but not before getting soaked by the rain. In less than an hour, everyone went from being sweaty and tired from completing the CAP project to looking fresh and all done up in their formal attire. The graduation started at 6:30 in the beautiful city hall and everyone got to sit with their students. We were surprised by how much effort the students had put in for their performances. Some classes recited poems while others sang songs. After graduation, we all gathered in the balcony for refreshing drinks and cake. Seeing the Glimpsers intermingling with their students and families made all the stress of lesson planning and classroom management worth it. After we took pictures and said our goodbyes, we walked back to Onaney and ate pasta and bread for dinner.
At our nightly meeting, we discussed our question of the day: What will you take away from your CAP experience to apply to your lives back home? Some said the sense of community and others said the blisters from their hard work, but overall, we agreed that we had gained a sense of appreciation of the bonds that we have made with the community members and workers at Maguana al Medio.
Being Lider Del Dia was stressful, but extremely fulfilling. We had a packed schedule to get our CAP project completed and getting to graduation on time, but everything went to plan. Throughout the day, we loved seeing everyone take care of each other like a family. When one person had been doing one job for too long, someone would take over for them without hesitation. As Lideres Del Dia, we would have to remind our team to drink water, reapply sunscreen, take breaks, and have snacks, but taking care of other people’s health should be something that we do every day. Despite our differences, we truly came together as a family to complete our CAP project and watch our students graduate.