image imageI woke up a couple of minutes before 7am to the sound of Sarah as she walked into the bedroom from the group’s morning jog and I began my duty as the leader of the day feeling a bit pressured due to the fact that we had a lot to accomplish today and because I am the very first leader of the day in our group. After returning from our breakfast at the comedor named Quiero Mas, we held our first Aid and Development Seminar and our very First Community Action Project (CAP) Seminar in which we were introduced to the idea of aid and we discussed the difference between aid that empowers and aid that disempowers other countries, communities, and people.

Later in the day we took the bus to our first CAP project site meeting at El Platanal, the only actual school in that rural community for several miles, we didn’t know quite what to expect. When we finally arrived at our destination everyone was shocked at the conditions in which we found this school. The school just so happened to be right beside an oil refinery and with no type of security. There were a total of three classrooms which held up to 4 different grades at a time for students ranging from age 2 -3 to age 18, there was only one working bathroom whose door was barely holding up, and a tiny kitchen that feeds about 90 mouths. We have all heard at some point in our lives about how fortunate we are and about all of stories related to the lack of resources for people out here in Nicaragua but in that moment they stopped being stories and instead, they became harsh realities for all of us. My experience at the school was also the highlight of my day because the community members didn’t just stand around waiting for someone to help, the families themselves, along with the community took the initiative to build the school from the ground up, making due with what they had instead of just sitting in the corner and sobbing over what they didn’t have. What I found most touching was that fact that 2 out of the 4 teachers work for free and expect nothing in return. It truly is inspiring and it is going to be a privilege to meet and address the actual necessities of the school and carry them out to the best of our ability. Although it was a really hot day today, we stuck it through and we are really looking forward to taking our visions and putting them into action.

In terms of my role as the leader of the day, I was kind of intimidated as to how things would play out, especially being that I was the very first to become El Lider del Dia and I didn’t really have an example of previous lideres to go off of. My biggest concerned was leaving someone behind but luckily I was able to successfully carry out the day with all of my little ducklings right behind me. I’ve never really thought about myself as a leader, much less have I ever called myself one, but today, based off of the feedback given to me from my peers and GG leaders, I learned that I am a natural leader and that I have a particular kind of “enthusiasm that radiates” and this has definitely made me more sure about my desires of someday actually becoming a teacher. I know a lot of people seem to say this out of common courtesy, but I honestly mean it when I say it has been an honor leading and experiencing the things I did today, especially because I was able to experience with all of my peers that truly feel like mi familia here.