Today we went back to the place we missed right when we left: Suarez. We began our morning early and tired at 6 am, but we pushed through breakfast and the long bus ride. From the moment we arrived at Suarez, the sun was blazing, but we were excited for what the day had to offer us. We were greeted by Leivy and his mom at his conuco which he has been working at for several years. Leivy described his background and his agricultural work, and then we split into smaller groups to begin our farm work. Two of the groups were picking weeds and the other group was planting spinach seeds. This is also a task that Leivy performs every morning for two hours. After working two long hours in the conuco, we were treated with fruits such as watermelons, pineapples, apples, and bananas from the community. Some of the community members from Suarez that we connected with earlier came with love and mangos for us. We then continued working back on the fields and rotating all the tasks until we had to say our goodbyes for the last time.
Once the bus arrived back at the Monsenor Pittini, we freshened up and began our time to explore. We were filled with excitement because it was our first time being able to explore San Juan without any ambassadors or leaders. We split into groups and walked through the streets of San Juan while being able to experience the daily life and culture. The groups traveled to a souvenir shop, supermarket, and small shops along the streets.
Our day was not done yet because we still had English tutoring left. We walked to the school around 4 pm and began our two hour tutoring. Today’s English tutoring was more successful than past one as the students felt a strong urge to learn and felt interested in what the language has to offer. We all as a group felt proud since we started off strong and ended off strong. Our first week of English tutoring was done, but we were excited for what the next week has to offer. We walked back and had a dinner close to home: pasta. We wrapped up our long, hard working day with a nightly meeting where we discussed the impacts of Leivy’s farm work.
Even though this day was long, we were glad to be the leaders since this day had many opportunities to offer. We were able to practice our leadership during many instances. It was challenging at first due to the separate groups at the farm and during explore time. However, by the end of the day we strengthened our leadership skills by being able to handle the group successfully. It was an experience most find only once in their lives, an experience that will help shape and construct the character and personality of everyone here in the future, an experience that will most definitely help better ourselves.