Today was a very humbling experience. We started off the day like any other with a 7 am wake up call. Then we headed off to breakfast, as we usually do. After breakfast, we all got on the bus and headed off to IPHE, the school that we have been working with for the past couple days. When we got off the bus, everyone headed to their respective projects which include painting a classroom, finishing special tables for the students, and cleaning and painting the gates outside of the cafeteria. Unfortunately, because it was cloudy outside, the boys weren’t able to place the protective covering on the tables. According to the carpenter who works at the school, it must be sunny in order to add the covering, therefore the boys working on the table joined the group at the gate.

The people on the painting room added a layer of mint green paint to the bottom of the walls while dancing and singing to music. The group working on the gates had to finish sanding the gates, cleaning them off, and painting them a rust-red color. The teams worked really hard, but we made sure to take breaks and drink water. We stopped a couple of times to continue chilling, dancing to music and play basketball. After a hard day of work, we left the school, headed back to the hotel, and everyone made sure to take showers. Then we headed to the University of Panama to continue with our English tutoring. One of the students brought their son and daughter, so some of the kids got to teach the kids English and play games with them. After English tutoring, we prepped for the following sessions, ate dinner, and had our nightly meeting. As a special treat, Mr. Walach decided to host a game of mafia for us,(please google if you don’t know). Now here we are writing this blog.

As a person who likes to be in charge, I enjoyed being a leader today and keeping everyone on track. I will admit that being in charge of a group of teenagers with different personalities is a challenge. I would say that I do need to work on calming down and taking a step back to let everyone breathe for a second. There were times during the day where I just wanted to quit, but I kept going with my co-leader. Even though today was really stressful because we didn’t have the help of our GG Leaders, (#freeday) everyone kept us laughing constantly and in the end, we had a lot of fun today. 

What’s up fam! I’m having a lot of fun and laughing a lot here in Panama and learning a lot of Spanish. I miss you guys a lot! I’ve also made a lot of great friends that I can’t wait to hang out with at home. I’ll see y’all in a couple of days. Love you!!!

Today was honestly a great day.  Despite my late wake-up, I managed to continue with a positive mindset. What today has taught me is that patience is key. Not everyone will respond the same way to how you act. It is important to attack the situation and not the person. Today was challenging, but not impossible. I was very grateful for my partnering leader Jessica. Our communication and understanding of each other made the day much easier. Overall, I enjoyed my day as a leader and this experience has taught me a lot.

Hi family, if you are reading this I want you to know that I am extremely grateful for letting me be here and I miss the three of you so very much. I’ll be back to eat all the home-cooked meals that I have missed. Love you lots!!<3<3