(Matt’s NOTE: This blog post applies to July 2nd, 2014; due to technical difficulties and some surprisingly late nights, we’re a day behind on the blog updates; by tomorrow night, we hope to be back up to date with TWO updates from July 3rd’s leader, Mina, and July 4th’s leaders, Joanna and Vivian)

Hello! My name is Zach Taburaza and I was the leader of the day for education day. I’m from James Logan High School in Union City, California.

On the second of June, we traveled to schools around Esteli, observing the conditions the children were taught in. We first headed to La Cruces, the primary school of the rural community who lives near the area dump. The Glimpsers met with the staff and kids of the school and learned a lot about it. The Fabrettos foundation provides food and education to young, impoverished children who might not even have the inspiration to go to school. Their main focus is nutrition and aesthetic expression. After all, children do need to express their feelings with full bellies in order to learn effectively. In the afternoon, we headed over to another Fabretto school within Esteli. Here we talked to the students learning Engilsh. Some of these people will actually be helping us in our CAP (Community Action Project). Afterwards, we headed over to the University to learn about what kind of opportunities were available. Those who graduate have to chance to be lawyers, accountants and teachers, although the chances still aren’t guaranteed to get a job. We then went back to the hostel for our regular nightly meetings, where I passed the torch to the next leader of the day. After passing the torch, we watched a documentary relating to the education and lives of the kids of the dump. It hit most of the group emotionally seeing the conditions that the kids were in.

During the day, we had the chance to play with the kids of La Cruces. The group had fun making friendship bracelets, playing “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, whacking pinatas, and playing football (for the real Americans out there, we mean soccer). The main thing we were missing for both the donkey and pinata was a proper blindfold. I noticed this personally, and tried to find a way to fix the problem. I then remembered the bandanna I was wearing on my forehead. It would work as the perfect blindfold. So, I approached the group and gave the bandanna to the kids. For the rest of the day, the group used my bandanna as a blindfold. It was satisfying to contribute to the group with something I only thought would make me look cool.

Being leader was an interesting experience. As a leader, I put myself as an assertive and confident personality. Although this burned out by the end of the day, the group in general said I was a great leader and not to doubt my abilities. This was due to the high expectations I put on myself. Ironically, I thought that I wasn’t being assertive enough and did not take enough initiative, which made me seem a little self-centered and forceful. In the end, I felt more confident and open-minded. I still have to learn to assess if the group is doing fine even without an iron fist in command.

I’m looking forward to our CAP, since we explored the site and met the people we were going to work with. The documentary also reassured the reason why were are all here: to help these kids have a better future. I have complete confidence that our group will be able to create good change for these kids. We just need the resources, the reinforcements, and the spirit to reform.DSC05314 DSC05304 DSC05266 DSC05257 DSC05237