Can one person make a difference? That was the question of the day and I think everyone has thought about this during some time in their lives. My Name is Eric Chen and I am a Global Glimpser from San Francisco and a student at Abraham Lincoln High School. The reason I chose to be leader of the CAP 2 project is because I have a background in architecture, engineering and construction. I wanted to make sure we got as much done in our span of six hours for the day as possible, and I believe we did an amazing job at that.
The morning started off early at 7:00 am, which was like any other morning until we went to breakfast at Quiero Mas. We got to our comedor at 8:00 am, thinking we will be able to eat right away, but it turned out that we were scheduled for 9:00 am. This surprised me because I was not prepared for this, so our group had to wait at the comedor for the food to be cooked and delivered when our amazing coordinators came up with the excellent idea to go shopping for extra materials while everyone else waited. We got everything we needed for the Community Action Project (CAP) by 10:00 am, which was behind schedule, so I was a little nervous about not being able to finish out CAP project. The thirty minute ride to the site of our CAP project was splendid, we even picked up some supplies on the way there.
When we got there, everyone got to work right away. Each individual group did their job and helped others along the way. We had a few bumps here and there but the group managed really well. For example, we had to improvise a new project that the community wanted which was a mini-stage outside the school for preschool promotion celebrations, which needed to be made out of bricks. The Construction team agreed to help but it wiped out the rest of our CAP budget. The Gardening team also had many problems along the way; the water was really low at the community so they couldn’t use it to water the plants or aerate the soil in an efficient way. They couldn’t even plant the trees today because the community wasn’t there at the time and we were hoping it would be a community project.
However, most of the groups did finish what they were supposed to do and I believe that we will be able to finish our CAP project by tomorrow. The Construction team was able to finish painting the playground and will start planning and building the stage tomorrow while Gardening team finished digging all their holes for the trees and the seeds, helping other teams along the way. The Painting team finished prepping both walls and also finished half of the first wall. At the same time, The Communication team played with the kids and helped translate our ideas to the community in terms of what we were doing and if any sudden changes came up, hoping the community would be okay with the new ideas. Watching everyone try there best and work until the very end will be the most memorable moment on this trip for me because it showed me how dedicated the group was and how badly they all wanted to contribute to making the community a better place.
Sadly, it was time to go and everyone was tired. The Communications team did a great job with the kids, when we where leaving, the kids waved bye and made silly faces at us. The thirty minute bus ride home and also the free time between the time we got back and dinner was very peaceful and relaxing. After dinner, another sad moment arrived because it was our last day with our English students. All of the members of our group bonded and connected with our students, making it the most heartfelt and fun day in the last two weeks. The Beginner and Advanced groups were dancing Salsa with the students during class time and the Intermediate group sang a couple of songs, one of them being, “Think Out Loud,” by Ed Sheeran. Some people didn’t want to leave at 8:00 pm because they were so busy laughing and playing with the students.
The best moment of this day would be the pizza that the coordinators and leaders prepared for us after tutoring. Since our group was still hungry after dinner and after English class, the coordinators and leaders ordered us pizza at a nearby restaurant and we ate during our nightly meeting. Since our hands were full with delicious pizza, instead of snapping, we stomped with our feet to show each other love when they’d share out. The rest of the night was relaxing and care-free. The night ended with the usual singing among our talented friends within our group on the balcony.
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will only understand what we are taught.” -Baba Dioum