Being the leader of the day for our CAP project was not an easy thing to do. It went very smoothly because everyone worked together and were able to make our idea become a reality. Our CAP project consisted of a world mural, portable soccer goals, planting trees and painting cement benches and the play structure. Originally I thought this would be too ambitious but turns out that with our hard work, we were able to finish it all, both time wise and under budget. We all contributed funds and paid for the project ourselves and this project was predominantly student run. We had spent multiple instances during our three weeks here planning for this project, especially with the CAP preparation day. What was great about this day was seeing all our hard work come to life.

Welders

Welders

As the leader of this day, I had a very large agenda to attend to. I was up for the job because I myself am a very energetic person and I really was pumped to get to be the leader of the day because I knew that I had the abilities to get the job done. My first duty as leader was to do wake up call, which was at 4:15 AM. Everyone had a democratic vote to leave the hostel at 5 AM because they wanted to get to work as soon as they could and we had an hour drive to Nagarote which is where our project was set at. Our delegation was tired in the morning but everyone was psyched to finally have the chance to get their hands dirty and to make a really great CAP project. We had three committees, one for the mural, one for the soccer goals, and one for the miscellaneous (which was the planting of the trees, the painting of the benches, and the structure), and we all straightaway set out our pieces and distributed duties for each person. As the leader of the day, I not only had responsibility to be working with my own committee and building the soccer goals, but I also had the job duty to look over all the committees and to make sure everyone was hydrated and was feeling good. The sun starts rising here in Nicaragua very early, around 5 in the morning, so by the time everyone really started getting into their project, the sun had been out for a good couple hours and it was getting hot. We had very minimum shade at our project site but no one really complained about it because they knew that they had a job to do.

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I had my doubts about whether or not the mural group would be able to finish on time because it was such a large project. That committee was the largest and they had planned very well. What they didn’t expect was having to change walls when they got to the site because the site architect told them they the other wall would be knocked down in a few years to make room for another classroom at the school. It turned out for the better though because the wall they painted on now faces the road, so everyone who passes the road the mural is on, can see it. The mural consisted of a map of the world and all the continents and there are stars on it placed in places that kids could potentially want to go to. There is a quote written on the bottom which says “Yesterday I was smart and wanted to change the world, but today I am wise and want to change myself.” We want to kids to believe that change can start with themselves. Looking back at ourselves, we were just 19 kids but we were able to accomplish so much. A person can make such a big impact. Each of us pitched in to our parts whether it was painting, cutting, planting, and etc. We all learned that we were more than capable for the jobs and if anything we underestimated ourselves. A lesson learned, a person can do anything if they set their mind to it, but it does help to have multiple hands. A job always gets done faster with more sets of hands.

As the leader, I also had to constantly check up on everything going on. It surprised me so much how focused and centered everyone was. Those were exactly the things we needed that day because we just had such a large agenda to go through. Even when I asked people if they wanted a break, they refused and wanted to keep working. They really were determined to finish the project early. Both the soccer goal committee and the miscellaneous knew that they would finish with plenty of time but there wasn’t much of a time gauge for the mural group but even they realized that they could finish early. It was such an exciting feeling knowing that we could finish early. That accomplishing feeling afterwards and the smiles on everyone’s faces was well worth all the sweat and labor that we put into it. Even though everyone was covered in paint and tired from the long day, we were able to complete all that we wanted. It was successful and such a rewarding feeling. It was one of the most grueling days I have ever had to endure but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It was truly a great learning experience.

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