Today we had our daily wake up call at 7:30am and had breakfast a little later than planned. This pushed our preparations for our CAP presentation (Community Action Project) back about 15-20 minutes. It left us with about 5-10 minutes to prepare our presentation before the arrival of the La Maestra of Bajo Corral and Kiera, a Peace Corps volunteer. We presented our 4-part project, the four parts being a Garden Compost/Reforestation, a Mural, bathroom repairs, and producing informational signs for these environmental goals. Our idea was approved by the two members of the Bajo Corral community. We are excited to start executing our ideas on Monday.
At 11:15 we had our mental warm up and introduced our Question of the Day: “Is poverty always apparent?”. Then, after lunch, we took a field trip to a temporary orphanage called NutreHogar. In our time here we were introduced to the director of the facility, Maruquel, and she told us her story of working 48-hour shifts–two days on, two days rest to take care of the children. We were also informed that there are only 5 women for around 18 children, ages ranging from 8 months to 3 years old. To help these women we separated into smaller groups to clean the facility and help anyway we could. We swept, mopped, disinfected, wiped, and scrubbed, and then spent time with the children. Plenty of laughs were shared, and most of the kids didn’t want us to leave.
We returned to the hotel around 3:00 and reflected on our time spent at the orphanage. We revisited our Question of the Day and everyone shared about the the things they will change when they return home. We also applauded the inspiring, hardworking “nannies” who have dedicated their lives to the continual care of malnourished children. After this empowering reflection we had free time and Glimpsers chose to stay in the hotel to rest, go out to the supermarkets, and/or peruse thrift stores.
For dinner, we ate fried fish with plantains or French fries. We were excited to have something that hit a little bit closer to home, but also featured the Panamanian culture. After dinner we had a 30-minute meeting with small groups to discuss materials for our CAP projects and at 8:15 we held our daily nightly meeting where we discussed our “three C’s”, Courage, Compassion, and Commitment. In addition we also discussed the “R”–Respect that the Lideres Del Dia added. We expressed that courage was a big part of our day because a lot of our bilingual Glimpsers stepped out of their comfort zones and translated.
To conclude our night, we ended things a little differently, but also very powerfully. We had a poetry slam expressing our true selves. During free times both yesterday and today, we were able to write poems all with lines starting with “My people are…”. Lots of tears were shed because of the love we share with one another. We realized that we have truly become a family very quickly and share a bond like no other.