Hola! This is Kasey and Chayla, your Leaders of the Day! Today was the first day working on our CAP project, and we have plenty of tired limbs, and lots of hard work to show for it!
Chayla would like to give a shoutout to my mother Roberta Perez for being a wonderful inspiration and the greatest mother I have ever known, and to my family for being 100% supportive of my decision on stepping out of my comfort zone and traveling to a different country.
Kasey would like to give a shoutout to her family and her friends back home whom she misses dearly and can’t wait to see very soon. They are always there to support her with anything that she decides to do which includes this very trip to Esteli, Nicaragua
Our day started at 6:30am, when we woke up in order to get the group up! It was slow for us because of our tough day in the canyon yesterday – but it was worth the pains today! 🙂
We departed after breakfast to Los Pipitos, the site of our Community Action Project. Los Pipitos is an organization that helps kids with mental discapacities and their families by providing training and services. Many of the families in Nicaragua with children who have discapacities are often single mother households, as it is thought that a child being born this way is the woman’s fault. So, this organization helps provide the training needed to assist these children, and also can help them get jobs in places like the local cigar factories.
Our Community Action Project is to renovate and expand their community garden, which involves cleaning up the garden, building colorful fences, planting valuable fruits and vegetables, which will help to enhance the nutrition of the children there, as well as provide a source of income for the center by selling the produce.
This may sound easy, but so far, it was not! In order to get started, we split the group in two – the first section would stay back and work on clearing the field to prepare for planting, and the other group would go to many different shops in Esteli to get the materials we need to be successful! Neither one was an easy task.
The people stayed had to deal with lots and lots of ants, blisters on their hands from the materials, massive rocks in the soil, and lots of other little critters lurking in the soil! We also helped cut and remove a tree, and clear lots of overgrown weeds – some taller than us! It was backbreaking work, but we got so much done by working together!
The other group focused on purchasing materials that we needed. We were used to buying everything in a single store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, but in Nicaragua, you had to visit many stores in order to get everything you need. And, to make matters more complicated, to do it in a giant yellow school bus on the narrow city streets. Luckily for us, we had an amazing driver who was patient and super helpful! However, it did take the entire morning just to shop!
After lunch, the entire group came back together and continued work on the garden, and we were able to get even more done. We now know what needs to happen next, particularly making signs for our crops, clearing the walkways and installing the bricks there, and eventually planting the seeds. We luckily have a full day at Los Pipitos tomorrow to make a huge dent in our to-do list!
It wouldn’t be Global Glimpse though if we didn’t have a jam-packed day AFTER an entire day of working outside in the garden! We still needed to tutor eager Nicas in English. We only had 1 hour to prepare for the lesson and to shower, on top of already being so tired, but you know what? That didn’t stop us from giving the students the lesson they deserved! We learned that some of our English students travel well over an hour from outside Esteli just to be with us each day, and they deserve our best effort; so, as our GGL Shannon would say, we needed to “fake it til we make it!”
The lessons went great, and we even had some new students today for the first time. We sadly only have 2 more lessons to teach before our trip is over.
At nightly meeting, we discussed the day and how we can work better together as a group. We have two strong Project Managers, Mikayla and Kenny, who will take the lead again tomorrow.
Overall, being Leader of the Day was a fundamental opportunity to grow as leaders, and implement our own characteristics onto the group. This experience will help us when we get home to take charge when we need to, and get things done.
Tomorrow is CAP day 2 – stay tuned for a check-in on our progress!