Location: Yarina Lodge, Amazon

Today was our first day of community service in the Amazon. We worked together to remove invasive lilies so that the animals living underneath could survive. It’s amazing how we have known each other for almost two weeks, and we act as if we have known each other forever. The friendships that we formed here are friendships that will last forever. As we passed enormous carts of lilies down an assembly line, with sweat dripping off our faces, we continued to work hard while laughing and smiling. Of course, we played a classic game of “What am I thinking of” to make the time pass. As I lifted another heavy cart of lilies; I realized that everyone working here was important in their special way. If someone stopped working, the whole team would be thrown off. As we pushed through the last hour, you could see the progress we made. The lilies that once covered a large surface now had a huge dent where you could see water. As we left the lagoon, you could see how much of an impact we had made. The Cayman we saw on the way out proved that the lagoon was a home for all sorts of animals and we helped them get their home back.