Today was one of our hardest days yet as we woke up at 4:30AM to start our third and final reality challenge. We chose to lead this day due to the fact that we believe that by having an excellent work ethic and determination anything can be achieved. To our surprise, all the Glimpsers managed to wake up without any complaints or difficulties. We all took the time to get ready in 30 minutes and boarded the bus at around 5:00AM. The bus ride to get to the farm called La Canavalia consisted of roads that were almost as foggy as the ones in San Francisco. However, almost no one was awake to see it as the majority was sleeping during the hour-long bus ride. As we got to the farm, we ate our gallo pinto beans with our eggs and rice for breakfast with a cup of freshly brewed coffee produced on the farm itself. After breakfast, we split up into three groups and embarked on our laborious day at the farm.
One station that the groups worked at was the farm’s nursery. The outdoor nursery consisted of 7,000 baby trees and flowers that were different varieties of flora. The glimpsers quickly embarked on the straining yet serene task of picking the weeds out of the plants. The tranquility of being one with nature was peaceful, however, with every beautiful rose there are at least a dozen thorns, and in the nursery there were at least 75,000. Although the thorns were bothersome, the students persevered and managed to clear 2 acres of the nursery’s weeds. Not only does this help the plans grow stronger, but it also causes the soil to be more fertile for the next plants that will be placed in the future. Personally, we thought that this part of the trip was very symbolic because the only way to create a better future is by working at it one day or weed at a time.
Another station that the Glimpsers worked at was the hen house. As we looked into the hen house we saw thousands of hens together in three separate rooms. Our first thought was that we weren’t possibly going to be walking inside with all those hens. All the eggs were in metal cases that the gallinas (hens) were trained to lay their huevos (eggs) in. Although it was intimidating go into the pen and pick the eggs up due to a fear of being devoured by hens, the students persevered and in no time at all started feeling completely comfortable in the hen house. Some students even picked up the eggs from directly under the female chickens. Fortunately, no students were eaten by the harmless little hens that they were so afraid of at the beginning of the day.
The last station was at the animal pens which consisted of cows and goats. First, we cleaned the walkway in the middle of the cow pens of grass and dirt. Next, we cleaned out the eating troughs of the cows to prevent them from eating leftover grass that may be contaminated. We then moved on to do the same for the goat pens. The process for the cleaning took roughly an hour for our team of eight to complete. To our dismay, the cows were free from the pens to graze and we were left to clean up all the poop left over by the cows. This was one of our greatest challenges as we were not told we were going to clean up the cow poop and didn’t have rain boots to protect our socks from getting wet and poopy. However, we mustered up our strength and morale and shoveled cow poop off the floor and into a wheelbarrow and then dumped it off a hill. We had to clean two of the cow pens which took around an hour and a half to complete with a group of eight. We were told that one farm worker would usually take an hour alone to complete so we were not too far off on completing our task in time for beginners. After cleaning the pens, we were all extremely proud of completing something that we would never have a chance to do.
As we said goodbye to La Canavalia and hello to the hostel we were tired and ready to take a nice cold shower. The tired glimpsers then prepared for English tutoring class and then went out during their allotted free time. The glimpsers went to one of the hottest coffee joints in Matagalpa called Mr. Coffee. They all loved their drinks and were happy with Mr. Coffee’s services. Other Glimpsers went to the internet café to check up on the world through Facebook and emails. Many also went to go souvenir shopping and found many great gifts to give to the people reading this blog. (; All in all, it was a tough, but fantastic day in which we were able to work like a local.