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Today was our first day of service. We got an early start for our luxurious accommodations in Baiguate and took an uno-filled car ride back to the Cigar Family Complex in anticipation of our project. I know everyone was excited about finally getting to do the service we came here for but a little nervous about collaborating across a language barrier. Luckily, we had a few translators including the Juan and only. Our project turned out to be doing renovations on a community baseball diamond that included painting dugouts, picking up litter, laying the foundation for a public restroom and interacting with the people of the locale. Lunch was quite a spread laid out for us back at the school and they had a legendary coconut pudding that I would be interested in applying for a patent to make. Half of the group went to paint at another location and the other half, which included me, returned to the diamond to finish up. Although there was a shortage of tools due to local people showing up out of the goodness of their heart to help, we didn’t have a moment to stand around. The beloved Trinity Lester painted the foundation logo inside one of the newly painted dugouts as about 15 kids looked on. I was able to communicate in Spanish with them, which I’m ecstatic about. It was really nice to see how interested people were in helping their community- they were showing up left and right to grab a paintbrush or a shovel with no prompting. I was able to see personally how happy they were to be getting a shiny new version of their beloved baseball field, which the children were playing on towards the end of the day when it cooled down. I am excited to see how the diamond looks tomorrow when we’re all finished with it and to further experience the Power of Giving.

– Gemma Briggs