The day started off with a loud wake-up call from the Leaders of the Day (us!) which probably irritated people. Nonetheless, everyone was wide awake because of this call. Which made us feel accomplished since we successfully completed the first part of being “lider del dia.” Everybody was on time for breakfast at 8:00 AM sharp. Conveying that as a leader you may have to sacrifice the way people feel about you in order to keep everyone on time and ready for the day.
After a smooth breakfast, we were ready to start our long day of work at Bejuco Aplatao, a community outside of Bonao, which was looking for our help expanding their cafeteria. We boarded early and got on the road at 9:00 AM. Once we departed the bus we got straight to the exhausting labor before us. Tasks like mixing cement and filling the hole that separated the bathroom and the cafeteria were given to the group and evenly distributed between everyone. We were swift and efficient with our nearly completed jobs. As workers, we felt helpful as we shoveled dirt and rock into a very rusted wheelbarrow that was surprisingly easy to handle. As we carried the wheelbarrow up the incline we felt the sun beating down on us drenching us with our own sweat. But we kept going and didn’t allow the heat to stop us as we trod up the hill to the hole. Once we reached the top a wave of relief hit us as we let the dirt fill the void beneath our feet. A small experience such as this allowed us to sponge what it really meant to help. Putting the smallest amount of elbow grease with a pick and a spade allowed us to change a community for the better.
Changing a community doesn’t only mean doing physical labor. Today in English tutoring, unity had shown itself. We helped many people by sharing our knowledge of English. Although we couldn’t make them fluent in English, we did allow them to get better and help them on the path of learning our language. Unfortunately, this was our last day to help our pupils sponge our experience. The few days we had with our students definitely affected how close we were with them. They were more than just our students because somehow these students became our friends. To be able to help others be better people while simultaneously becoming a better person yourself is the best part about being a teacher. We are going to miss teaching, but most importantly we are going miss being able to make a difference. We still have two CAP days to help make a difference, so we will be sure to make them count.