I am not saying this just because I was leader of the day, but I can honestly speak for everyone and say that today was one of the most emotional and impactful days of our lives. We have gotten to know Costanza in our time here, but getting to personally know the people is a whole different story. Since it was Living in the Community Day, we were split up into two groups because the families are seperated by a hill. Half of us were at the base of the hill and the other half were up the hill. Also, since there were two leaders, I spent most of my day at the base of the hill rather than up it.
There are some experiences and people that I will never forget. I was greeted very warmly with hugs and kisses (and coffee). I cleaned rice and cooked the food we were having for lunch over an open fire. I saw how close the families were and how chores and food were shared in the community while helping a woman fold her clothes. This woman reminded me so much of my own mother (and mom I know you’re reading this, I love you) and I was truly touched by her story; it hit a tender spot in my heart. I don’t think I have ever cried as much in front of people as I did when I had to speak to the whole community. I knew how much the trip meant to me, but I didn’t expect to become that emotional. I was really proud of my friends because of the compassion, sensitivity, and bravery they all displayed today; I have never met a group of teenagers as wonderful or that I love more as the ones on this trip.
I cannot express how happy I am that I chose to be El Lider Del Dia today. As emotional as I am, it really meant a lot to experience everything that I did. I learned how privileged I am to live in the U.S. and how I truly do not appreciate all that I have. I learned how people that have so little are willing to give so much and that is something that I have yet to see back home. Lastly, I learned how powerful it is to be weak and vulnerable and really show your emotions in front of what seems like a million people.