Today marks the first day of CAP and as co-leaders we are excited to share our experience with you guys! We started the day off with a 7 a.m. wake-up call, however we woke up earlier to be prepared, only to find out there was no running water. Once the water was turned on by Dilenia (love you Dilenia!), everyone was able to shower and get ready for the day. We had 8 a.m. breakfast, and then at 9, we headed towards Vida Para Niños, the non-profit organization we are partnered with.

Once we got there, all of us were ready to put in our full effort. Everyone divided into their own groups; the gardening group took over the playground, and the paint crew got started on their murals. I (Cristal) went to the gardening group to make sure they stayed on task and accomplished our goal. For the playground, we refilled the sand box, mowed the lawn, picked up the loose rocks surrounding the perimeter of the playground, and filled in the holes underneath the swing sets. Once Yohanny and Nicole came back with the flowers, we were able to begin the actual gardening part of the day.

I (Joshua) was in charge of the painting crew and made sure our mural idea and each wall was colored in. I had to make sure all of our supplies were at Vida Para Niños and arrived securely. All of our paint colors and paint trays had arrived and were waiting to be used. The first mural was of a cross with two hearts within it. With the help of our artist Carol, the mural came out beautifully. Most of the trouble we had today was from running out of ideas on what to do with several hours left until we could leave. So, Cristal and I decided to get the blueprint crew together so that they could figure out another mural design. Ultimately, we decided to have three walls painted with quotes, one was designated as the Global Glimpse wall, and one final wall where the children of the orphanage are able to put their handprints on the wall labeled “God’s Children”

The group learned a lot about teamwork and how essential communication is. Working together was a challenge for some, and definitely improved throughout the day. Some people struggled with taking initiative when there wasn’t an exact plan laid out and taking care of themselves. That’s when the Water Police (Cristal and Josh) came in to make everyone was drinking water and putting on layers of sunscreen for the intense sun.

Joshua: For me personally, I learned a lot about my leadership skills and how much I am capable of. I was somewhat confident in myself, but definitely couldn’t have done it alone. With Cristal handling the other group, I could give my full attention to the painting group and not worry about the gardening group. I learned that people looked at me with respect and were always ready for me to give directions on what to do. The painting crew was doing exactly what they had to do and I was there to make sure they were following the plan. And even when we ran out of ideas for painting, I took on this challenge head on and got all the blueprint members together with the help of Cristal. I’m proud of what Cristal and I were able to accomplish today, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do this difficult task with anyone else.

Cristal: Today I learned that my voice is important and people are ready to listen. I struggled a lot with my self-confidence today because I was always worrying about what everybody else would think of me if I was too firm. Today taught me that being assertive doesn’t mean you are aggressive, and in my case I learned that I led in a very compassionate and understanding way.

Overall we are both proud of what the group was able to complete on our first day of CAP and we are excited to see the final results. Good Luck Cecilia and Melchor, leaders of CAP Day 2!

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