We started out the day with a bus ride to La Garnacha (bumpy as usual.) On the way there, we forced politely asked everyone to drink a suero to avoid dehydration. As we arrived, the locals were already busy at work on the garden. The garden group went straight to work leveling out the land and removing weeds and the garbage can group began painting the trash cans to place down the street. With the locals help, we managed to level the garden much quicker than we expected. Working alongside the locals to finish the garden, students planted seeds and placed fertilizers along strips of land. While the garden group was hard at work, the trash can group rounded up the kids in the city to place their handprints on the trash cans. Several students stayed back to finish planting seeds to finish the garden. At noon, we took a break for some pasta or roast chicken and some delightful dragonfruit juice. After an hour, we were ready to go back to work. After lunch, the boys went to work with a handsaw to cut blocks of wood to create signs for the vegetables. Painting the blocks was the last step of our CAP execution and with that, we were finished. As we placed the last few signs in the garden, Pablo rounded us up to say thank you. Seeing the smile on his face and hearing his words of gratitude made all the ant bites, sunburns, and aching backs almost worth it. Just kidding. It was definitely worth the hard work to see the looks of excitement on everyone’s faces. P1030093 P1030094 DSC_0010 DSC_0076 DSC_0077 DSC_0083 DSC_0089Overall, CAP was definitely a success. We hope that the trash cans will keep the community clean and that the children of La Garnacha will be able to enjoy vegetables with lunch in the near future.

After we got back from La Garnacha, we had two hours for free time (a.k.a. showering). Most students went out to explore the city and were met by a monsoon. That was probably the hardest it’s rained this entire trip – we had 3 power outages that night. After wading back to the hostal, we had the nightly meeting in the dark. Afterwards, even though we were all dog tired, we decided to go out to the club for a well-deserved night out. (How many times do you get to say you went clubbing in Nicaragua? That’s right.)

As leaders, we learned that teamwork and delegation is the key to success. Although we had one of the more hectic days of the trip, it was an honor being able to lead the group to accomplish such a successful project. We also ┬álearned to lead through respect rather than force. Having mutual respect is essential to building community. We ended the night tired, but proud of our hard work. (And smelling like cigars, but that’s a different story.)

To Mom, Dad, Iris, Crystal, Ama, and Aaron (and whoever else reads this) – Love you guys! Don’t forget to pick me up. 7 PM at SFO. Please.

To Mummy, Daddy, & Dimple: Miss you guys, can’t wait to come home :). Don’t forget to pick me up as well! See you soon and love you!