Today, we got to experience the true lives of some community members that live in Dios Dira. Our day started with a bucket shower and manually flushing our own toilets. Additionally, the power and water were turned off for most of the day to get the real life experience here. When we took the bucket showers, we were surprised at how little water we needed in order to take a full shower. The hardest part of the morning was trying to flush the toilet because a certain amount of force was needed. This was eyeopening because this is a process that is normally achieved by pressing a single lever, but most of our community members actually have to go through this every day.
Our day continued with our community partners; once everybody got to their respective family homes, they were assigned chores in order to have the full experience of how the locals typically live on a daily basis. There was a house responsible for cooking lunch for the partners and ourselves which, by the way, 3 Glimpsers and Ms.Sanchez got to help out with. Other houses did other chores, such as doing laundry by hand, feeding chickens, scrubbing pots and pans and other household chores.
The families here in Dios Dira tend to be larger than what is common in the States. One thing we noticed is how everyone seemed content with their lifestyles and managed to have hope for the future that things will get better. We all got together during lunch to play and socialize with the rest of the families that others didn’t get to meet. The kids’ ages ranged from a 1 month old to 17 years old; despite this age range we all managed to interact by playing games with them and trying to involve all of them. One of their favorites was sitting on our shoulders while we ran in circles. They insisted on coming back again and again, but when we refused their requests they forcefully climbed on top of us until we agreed to keep playing with them. One of our GG Leaders, Mr. Stegeman, was a favorite with the kids. Many would run to him, ask him to carry them and they’d even try to jump and climb on him until he managed to sit where they couldn’t get to his shoulders. Overall, during the community reunion, the kids enjoyed the time they spent with us, and their parents were able to converse with each other; they all considered themselves as one big family.
While interacting and getting to know our families, we learned how many more advantages we have in the United States than the average person in the community of Dios Dira. For instance, in the United States we have governmental aid for schooling, while most kids in the community are lucky if they finish middle school. We think that we can safely say that we, as a delegation, have learned how to be grateful for the basic things that are provided by the government such as education, running water, electricity, and food if needed.
Pictures will come tomorrow so stay tuned.