Hey Families and Friends!

Today by far is the most eye-opening experience we’ve probably all had. We had to live as locals which means no lights, bucket showers, no cameras, and we weren’t allowed to spend money. So, first off, wake up time was at 6:30 AM and breakfast was at 7. We got on the bus to Rio Grande, which is a small rural area right outside of Constanza. When we got there, we got into groups of 2 or 3 and got separated to work with different families that live there. While we were there we helped out with some chores, such as washing dishes, folding clothes, peeling beans, mopping the floor, and cooking food. We also had a chance to have lunch and eat with them. After we ate we said our gratitude speeches to our families and took pictures with them. They were really welcoming people. As soon as we got there they invited us into their homes and made us feel like we are a part of their family. Overall we felt kind of petty about our own daily complaints after seeing how they live. It was a genuine experience for us to be able to live the way they do and realize the differences in the way we live our daily lives. Even though they barely have any material things, they are still very happy and humble people. They are very giving and generous people also! (They gave us drawings and pictures of them to remember them) even though they may not have much. Tonight we passed the torch of LDD to our friends Sofia and Jasmin! Looking forward to seeing them being in the role of leadership for immigration day ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I got the be the leader of the day! One thing I think I did well is I made it fun for everyone. People seemed to be having fun with me as leader. One thing I think I could improve on was keeping track of time and reminding people to drink water. I think I have grown more in being responsible from this experience because I got to experience what it’s like being in the role of leadership and it’s harder than I thought. I kept getting lost in the fun playing with the kids and losing track of time. Mom, if you’re reading this tell everyone that I miss them and Love them.

-Carlos

I think being leader of the day is definitely a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of fun. I think something I did better as a leader would be prioritizing everyone else before me and just having a great time and giving it an all out experience. I really appreciate how they made us feel no different from them and I have a lot of take aways from this experience. (The kids are so adorable!!) I’ve felt pretty petty for the complaints I’ve had after seeing how they live, but on a brighter side, I am now more aware to be appreciative and humble with what I have. Something that I could have done better would be reminding the group about drinking water, role calls and the question of the day, which is “What are the challenges of living in this community and what are the benefits?”. Overall, this is by far my favorite experience and I am grateful to have been a part of it. P.S. Love you Mommy and John and everyone else!! Miss you guys and talk to you soon!!

-Emilla

Overall this trip has been eye-opening and great for us. We’ve both become so close to so many people and we’re glad that we came on this trip. A challenge for most of us has been being home sick, but we’re able to manage through it and enjoy being here while it lasts. We’re looking forward to more fun times and experiences.

Your lovely leaders,

Emilla and Carlos