Today was our first free day. We woke up at 8:00 A.M., which gave us an extra hour of sleep. Unfortunately I was sick so I could not see how everyone was spending their free day, but I got to hear about how great spending time outside of the hostel was. I was surprised that we had an academic seminar on our free day, but looking back it prepared the group for the next day’s activities and we had nine hours of free time.

The first block of free time was from about 9:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. The majority of the group walked with Trudy to the market and bought a few snacks and drinks. After the first block of free time the Glimpsers came back to the hostel for lunch as usual. The second block of free time was from 2:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. The Ambassadors (local youth leaders) came to help the Glimpsers communicate from Spanish to English and vice versa. The guys played baseball and went to the Internet café, while the girls went to the market, the Internet café, or stayed backed at the hostel. The third block was from 9:00 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. and the entire group stayed at the hostel and relaxed.

As the leader of the day I was worried that the group would not respect me and they would treat me the way they have been throughout this entire trip, as a friend. I told everyone during the nightly meeting that the moment I put on that cape (Leader of the Day cape), they could no longer see me as a friend. Looking back I really enjoyed having the ability to make everyone quiet down on queue. I learned that I can be a great friend and a respectable leader simultaneously. One thing I need to improve on as a leader is being punctual and being able to force others to be punctual. I was really happy with the Glimpsers and how we all spent our free day. I’d like to thank Thanh Lam for staying back with Emma and me at the hostel.


Vikas Retineni

P.S. : Enjoy your anniversary Mom and Dad.