Today the Estelí delegation witnessed and experienced one of the most valuable lessons one can comprehend. Without sacrifice and communication, there can be no achievement. In our short time here in Estelí, our group has obtained more knowledge than we deemed possible. We have witnessed the interactions, lifestyle and cultural characteristics that shape the lives of the thousands living in Estelí. Today our delegation executed an effective plan of action to give back to the community of Estelí.
The day started with a 7:00am wake up call. After getting squared away, the delegation devoured a scrumptious meal of eggs, sausage and bread. Although small in portion, the meals have consistently been impeccable. After breakfast, many students submitted laundry to the local service. Once everyone had finished their morning routine, we adjourned to the local preschool. The delegation traveled by two mini-vans and arrived at the site at approximately 9:00am. The landscaping group immediately got to work installing chicken wire around the previously planted greenery. At first, we relied solely on rocks to support the chicken wire. We quickly discovered that this strategy was insufficient. We then implemented wooden sticks in a zig-zag formation. While the chicken wire was somewhat secure, we decided that more support was needed. One of the bus drivers approached us and offered to cut pieces of wood to form wooden dowels. In addition, the teachers also helped chisel the wood and provided us with steel wire. In this magical moment I witnessed the effectiveness of cooperation and communication. Through just a few simple exchanges and actions with locals, I witnessed their appreciation, gratitude and love. Together we put in the work to construct a practical, useful and symbolic project. By hammering the dowels into the soil in addition to securing the chicken wire with steel wire, we were able to create a uniform, sturdy exterior protection for the plants. The muralists tenaciously attacked their masterpiece with grit and determination. With the “frame work” already completed, the group worked swiftly. By the end of the day it was almost completed. At 12:15pm we returned to hotel Chico to enjoy another fabulous meal of chicken drumsticks and beans. Once “refueled” we traveled back to the preschool. Both groups completed their planned tasks. By the end of the workday, the landscapers had painted the hopscotch path, secured a swing and installed all chicken wire. The muralists had completed almost the entire mural. Once packed up we went back to the hostel where we ate dinner. Mac and cheese. Delicious. We then walked to our English Tutoring session at 5:45pm. After two hours of instruction, we returned to hotel Chico where we commenced our nightly meeting. Many “big love” shoutouts were given and I had the honor of passing my leadership responsibility to Briel.
Before I embarked on this trip I had several reservations regarding our Community Action Project (CAP). I was worried that while working, we would be secluded from the local community, our project would hardly be beneficial and that lack of communication would potentially cause the project to fail. Today I witnessed the power of sacrifice and communication. I was able to experience firsthand what sacrifice brings. Through our sacrifice and communication we not only achieved a project that we are proud of, but created a symbol of friendship and cooperation.
As the leader of the day I was tested in many areas. I was accountable for communicating and relaying messages regarding logistics to my fellow Glimpsers. I was responsible for making sure everyone was present at all times. I had to make sure that people were hydrated and took all safety precautions seriously. It was up to me to make sure that everyone considered the question of the day throughout our work, along with numerous other responsibilities. During my time as the leader of the day, I learned to appreciate the value of communication. By communicating with my fellow Glimpsers, CAP leaders, GG leaders, as well as the locals, we were able to cooperate and work together effectively and efficiently.
In addition to the valiant efforts of my fellow Glimpsers and GG leaders, I would like to commend the efforts of the locals, especially the bus driver who assisted in chopping wood and the teachers who sacrificed their time to assist us. I found their actions inspiring and worthy of recognition.