Today was the first day our Community Action Project. Samantha and I, Rossemary, woke up an hour earlier than what we were supposed to because we were nervous. In the morning it was a challenge motivating our group, because they didn’t like their groups for the CAP, however, after working in our groups, everybody started going with the flow. Our projects included a lunch hut for the kids to eat lunch in a shaded area instead of inside the classroom, 3 murals (a Dominican Flag with the national bird, an ocean theme wall, and an inspirational quote), and a playground made out of tires, and a garden with trees in collaboration with Sur Futuro.
One of the main things that we learned today as leaders of the day is how big of an impact working with a team can do. Even though we were the smallest delegation of San Cristobal, we were told that we have done the most work in our first day of our CAP project. From this we learned that as long as we have a positive attitude, the rest of the group will look at us as role models and follow our attitude. Another difficulty that we were nervous about is getting the boys to get up on time and be ready on time because they are very energetic. To fix this, we talked to the boys the night before and they agreed to respect us, which they did. Something that we did well was making sure that everybody was constantly drinking water while working in the burning sun. Samantha and I, along with the help of Stephanie and Tiana, made sure to take peoples bottles while they were working and fill it up for them. As a group, we realized how close we have all became throughout the last 15 days. We all care about each other and motivate each other. Also, we know when we have to work hard and focus, and when we’re allowed to joke around with each other.
Both of us were truly inspired by the children that attended the school. The community also motivated us, since they were as motivated as we were to finish the project. We met a 16 year old boy in the 5th grade whose story touched us and taught us to appreciate our lives and education in New York and be more open minded of the hardships that take place in the DR as well as the different opportunities teenagers in New York have compared to those in DR.
Throughout the day we thought about our favorite teacher, Ms. Franks, for giving us this opportunity to explore the DR in more depth that what we have learned from our Dominican families. Also, our best friend Genesis who we miss very dearly.