Hi everyone! My name is Avani Narayan. Today I had the opportunity to be the first student leader of the day among my peers. It was a very eye-opening and enjoyable experience. Being able to lead your fellow peers is a bit awkward at first but that is something each of us have to overcome when taking on the role for the day. I feel like the group was very supportive and helpful in times that were a bit more hectic which I really appreciated.
The day began with a delicious breakfast which consisted of a cheese quesadilla and fresh cabbage slaw. We then came back to the hostel for an academic seminar on aid and development which was really informative. We had a debate amongst the group discussing how helpful aid is to other countries and what we can do instead to help them sustain a growing economy. After we had a bit of free time which was followed up by a program seminar that had many of us participating due to its topic. We talked about the idea of helping a community be able to sustain their economy rather than just handing money to them.
After lunch we had a guest speaker named Mitchell Lincoln who is the director of Quetzaltrekkers, a non-profit that also works with Los Ninos y Ninas del Fortin Association, the main non-profit that we are working with to execute our community action project. One thing that Mitchell said to all of us during this presentation that really resonated with me was, “Make sure that whatever you do in your future, you love it and are passionate about it.” This really hit home for me. After his presentation of the organization we then headed to the school itself where we will be helping out with our projects. This was the most memorable part of the day because after the tour of the facility we had a questioning session with one of the program directors. This was memorable because everyone asked what they could do to help improve their teaching facility and it was so nice to see everyone so engaged and wanting to help in anyway they could. After the field trip we came back to our hostel to discuss the logistics of our English tutoring. Personally, I took a positive risk and stepped out of my comfort zone by volunteering to be in the group for the intermediate Spanish speakers. This was a bit uncomfortable for me because I didn’t take any Spanish in high school. I took Chinese. I am really looking forward for the tutoring sessions now because my students will be teaching me as much Spanish as I will be teaching them about English.
We ended the day with a nice dinner and a really fun nightly meeting. I can really feel the bonds starting to form between each of us in our delegation. I am so glad to be able to share these experiences with these amazing individuals. We are all having a great time and we all miss you guys!
*****Note from leaders Daniel and Elly: Our internet is particularly slow tonight and is resisting our photo upload attempts. We’ll try again tomorrow, but wanted to at least post the written portion tonight.*****