I began the day with a wake-up call at 6:00 am which meant I had to be awake at 5:45. We all put our bags and belongings together so that we could eat our breakfast and be out of the hostel by 7:30 to head to Sor Maria. Things didn’t go as planned however, since there was a little miscommunication in the kitchen which resulted in us leaving the 30 minutes behind schedule.
This turned out to be only a minor setback as we actually accomplished much more than we expected. We ended up arriving at Sor Maria at around 8:20 and almost immediately got to work since we distributed our roles and planned everything out the day before. With three murals to paint and a small wall to tile, I knew it was going to be a long day but I had complete faith in my peers to get the task done. The first wall, that was originally a bare grey brick wall with a coat of primer, was managed by one of our “chief artists”, Jocelyn, who transformed the wall into a beautiful tree that branched out all the way across the room. This was the wall that gave some of my painting partners and myself an extremely tedious task to fulfil throughout the day. The bumps of the canvas made it difficult for the yellow paint to reach the tiny gaps in the bricks but it wasn’t to big of a problem with about six of us going back and fourth filling in the grey spots, as Jocelyn continued to sketch and eventually begin painting her tree.
Once the tree was outlined and the other Glimpsers and I helped to fill in the trunk and branches, it was ready for Jocelyn to detail. She made the tree come to life by mixing in new shades of brown a throughout the limbs of the tree. By the end of the day, it was ready for the students of Sor Maria to come in to add their own flavor to the mural with their hand prints which would act as the leaves. This however had to wait for the next day.
While the tree design was being put together, chief artist Rebecca was getting some color into her design around the door. This design displayed a sky blue back ground (that I helped paint) with a rainbow that shot over the door. This design was coming along so quickly that she was able to paint the Cathedral of Matagalpa under the rainbow as well. That wasn’t it though. With hours to spare we had to leave our mark so Rebecca took it upon herself to add the Global Glimpse symbol above the rainbow with M2A written in the middle.
The other wall which depicted two silhouettes with their thought bubbles expressing all the dreams that could be possible for the young students of the school, was sketched by two other chief artists named Edgar and Michelle. With a much smoother surface to work with, the wall had to have been my favorite out of the three because it had the strongest message. I wasn’t able to help with this mural as much as I had for the other two but by the end of the day it was practically done with exceptions to the couple spots that need to be filled in and touched up. You were able to clearly see the message of the mural as the silhouettes’ thought bubble included their dreams of becoming a soccer player, scientist, happy family, and more.
It didn’t end there. We had another five Glimpsers help out to tile the kitchen wall to help ensure that flakes and dust from the worn out walls wouldn’t end up in the pots of the delicious food that the mothers of the students came in to cook daily. This was led by Brandon and another man, Eric, who had experience with tiles and was also finished hours early leaving us time to get some primer on the wall so we could design yet another mural the next day.
After our work for the day was complete, we had two murals almost complete and another completely finished along with a wall freshly tiled for the safety of the children. This was only day two of our project which means we have another to come. So what better way to end our work than with a debrief to give some credit to our designers and have plans prepared for day three.
As always, we had our dinner ready for us at 5:00 so we could head out to English tutoring at 6:00. For my tutoring group that includes Brandon, Erica and me, we taught our advanced class some new things that turned out to be much more difficult than expected. We taught similes, metaphors, puns, double entendres and played a couple educational games to keep the class awake which they had fun with. Even though they didn’t completely understand everything, they at least had smiles on their faces at the end of the day.
The highlight of the day had to be all the work we got done. We came in with the mindset to just trace and outline the murals with some paint but ended up with three murals almost completely done and a completed tiled wall. This leaves us so much time for tomorrow that we plan on painting another mural for the kitchen and also a table since we were still far below our budget. Even after the table included in the budget, we decided to finish off what the M1A group started by planning on finishing the cement pathway to the entrance of the classroom. Then with the rest of our leftover money, we are going to provide books and a whiteboard for the class.
I’m proud to be leader of an extremely productive day and tomorrow will only be better as we finish off all our CAP work. This project will be the last of our efforts in Nicaragua before we come home free of mosquito nets and plantains (that we eat EVERYDAY). Most importantly, it will be the last thing we have to give to Matagalpa (for now) before we see our family and friends again. Hopefully our work from today with have an everlasting impact on the students now and the students to come.