Greetings, interweb! This is Nikki Ramos, el lider del dia for June 19th, reporting on day three of our delegation’s community action project. Today was the final day of our allotted time to complete all renovations, so it was surely a packed day – not to mention the celebratory dinner (which I will expand on later). Our work at the Center of Special Education encompassed three components: classroom repainting, bathroom remodeling, and garden improvement. After our usual morning routine, girls waking up an hour or so before wake-up call (at 7AM) and boys half awake by breakfast, at Imabite, itself, we bussed to the school.
For the most part, the painting crew, which I was in, had covered most of the walls, and mainly focused on touch-ups/detailing and clean-up. Not sure if this was mentioned in prior blog posts, but the two adjacent classrooms we were stationed in were coated in pale green, as chosen by the school and some Global Glimpse students came up with the concept of using chalk-board paint to accent some wall sections for both student and teacher use (very pinterest-y). The real struggle came with cleaning our paint drip mess off the tile floor. Turns out, the improvised usage of sandpaper scrubbing and paint thinner mopping did the job.
Over on the bano crew, they had overseen the finishing of their tile floors and the painting of their walls to match. The roof was completed prior, leaving them the task of finishing the interior . That bathroom has come a long way from its initial state, thanks to the hard work of my fellow Glimpsers, who pushed through regardless of any lack of home improvement experience. Teamwork makes the dream work, as evident in the way I witnessed the trade-off shift system of about five people in such cramped space. Props to them.
Gardening, too, put in some hours to really uplift the school grounds. They added some final plants around the lawns and cared for the existing flora already present. Although their impact is not as immediately evident as the other two groups, its great to keep in mind that shrubs and food crops they implemented now will only grow and reap great benefits even after our departure. I’d also like to note they (bravely) tackled the spider-ridden piles of garbage which would have had most of us running.
Boarding the bus after a long, sweaty day of manual labor, Noel announced to the group, “WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” To which our exhausted bunch replied, “WOOOO HOOOO!!!!” It was a sight to see, that no matter how tired and restless we may have been, that the enthusiasm was still there.
I think we all learned valuable lessons through this project, from the utmost importance of coordination and teamwork to the tasks we worked on. By volunteering our time and energy to give, we were able to receive an experience that will follow us when we return home. I’m sure none of us ever imagine we’d be in this situation – bathroom tile picking and paint swatching and plant shopping for a special education school in Nicaragua – yet here we are, and both we and the school are better because of it.
Following our project completion, we all used our extra time to stop by Casa De Café, our Leon Starbucks away from home, to cool down because later that night we would be diverging from our typical meal at Imabite to celebrate this day: CAP completion and a fellow Glimpsers Wen Ting’s birthday. After two weeks of humidity and bugspray and sunscreen, we had the opportunity to dress up and look (more than) decent for a special dinner at Cocinarte, the historically renowned oldest house in Leon. We’ve come a long way from the strangers we were upon arrival. It was almost like a prom photoshoot. In addition, the entire delegation chipped in to surprise Wen Ting with a poster of personal best wishes. Noel also had a cake made to surprise her! PS: it was delicious. Overall, that’s 18+ people keeping a secret. Good job to us and Happy 17th to Wen Ting, everyone had a fantastic time.
I remember feeling proud and happy about the people around me, our accomplishments of the day, and the memorable moments that were brewing. I’m not going lie, it was not smooth sailing at first, being leader of the day. Though by the end of the night, all was well. CAP 3 was both equally stressful and eventful, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.