Today is environment day! As the Leader of the Day, I set my alarm 30 minutes before the rest of the group and was responsible for waking everyone up. After I woke everyone up at a bright and early 7 AM, we had breakfast at 8:00 and reconvened in the meeting room to discuss our mental warmup: to go over our quote of the day, discuss our partner (environmental organization MUNVER), and learn the question of the day. We then attended a presentation by MUNVER member Pablo Bermudez. I learned the direct consequences of our actions and the impact we have on the environment; first-world countries (especially the US) make up the majority of carbon emissions and thus impact the health of our world the most. Our ecological footprint forces the sea level to rise, displacing people from 365 islands within Panama (most of who are indigenous people). This means more immigration to cities, which means higher crime rates, poverty, etc. It was interesting to hear about the impact we have on the environment, and gave us an answer to the question of the day — “What is my role as a global citizen in protecting the environment?” However (Michelle Fu, if you’re reading this it’s pretty interesting!), all of Panama recently passed a plastic bag ban!

Next, we went to a beach in Los Santos to do beach cleanup with MUNVER. It was great to see how hard everyone was working to clean the beach; though it would be better to find less trash, it was great to see the effort everyone was putting into the task.

We then had lunch and had an hour or so of free time, during which our PC, Sonia, let us go to the local supermarket, where we got snacks and a look at the city of Chitré! We then met in the meeting room for a seminar about English tutoring! This was kind of stressful as we all were nervous about the lessons. I tutored the advanced class (students who were experienced in English). I want to shout out Grayson, Quincy, and Kaitlyn (and more people — I don’t really remember) who joined the “intermediate” group to tutor those who don’t know that much English; they challenged themselves to interact with and teach those who have more cultural and language difference while not knowing as much Spanish. I definitely underestimated the amount of work we needed to do! The English students knew a lot more English than we expected. I did enjoy hearing about their lives, learning slang and just interacting with people from a different culture. Another shoutout to my group, Tymir, Jaiden, De’Andre, and Matthew, because we pulled it together though we were under pressure! It’s nice that we’re doing such important work and I can’t wait to develop our lessons more!

Upon returning to the hotel, we had dinner and then had our reflection session and nightly meeting. I really enjoyed our reflection session because everyone opened up about what we thought about our environmental footprint, the future of the earth, and economic versus environmental issues. Our GGL, Maddox, gave us some interesting questions to pick apart. We had our nightly meeting and disbanded for 20 minutes of free time, where people played cards and had an impromptu exercise session (?), before we returned to our rooms for lights out at 10:30.

Though I had not initially chosen environment day as my first pick for being LDD — mainly because it was the first day of having a student LDD — I’m glad I did. Not only did I experience the responsibilities of leadership early on, I felt that it helped me become closer to the other people in my delegation. It pushed me out of my comfort zone as I don’t know much Spanish and had to check the pronunciation of things with PCs and fluent Glimpsers. I also really enjoyed learning about the theme of the day! I passed the LDD torch to Jacqueline after she led us in a yoga session.

I’m excited to get some sleep for tomorrow! Good night!


Mom & Dad — Everything is good! I’m sleeping/eating/drinking enough water, and having fun. I should be able to call on Monday, either on a pay phone or through Google Hangouts, so keep an eye out for that. Love & miss you!