Today we were able to experience the lifestyle of those who live in extreme poverty in Nicaragua. The day was labeled “Living on $1 a day”. The purpose of the activities during the day were to simulate how drastically our lives would be changed if we were to solely live on one dollar a day, which is the average daily income for many Nicaraguans. We had to sacrifice many things we think to be necessities however to many of these people, things like plumbing, electricity, and 3 meals a day are luxuries. Throughout the day all of the glimpsers had at least one moment of realization that we take many things for granted. We were also we able to see how these people were so humble and welcoming and continued to create and inspire positivity. The major lesson learned for myself and the rest of my fellow glimpsers was that money cannot buy happiness.
Today we woke up at 5:30 am and took a half hour to get ready. We had a very minimal breakfast of gallo pinto and tortillas in order to show us the reality of how much living on a dollar can pay for. After breakfast we took a 20 minute bus ride to the town of Tejerina where we met the families we would be staying with. All of the families were extrememly welcoming and gracious to have us in their households. Although many of us struggled to overcome the language barrier we were able to connect with the families fairly quickly. We were asked to help with household chores to learn what a normal day looks like for them. Many people made tortillas directly from corn and many helped carry water from the well to the homes. None of the families in the community had access to running water so they had to bring buckets to the well and fill them then return them to their houses. We all had a reality check when we realized the amount of work it took just to have access to water in their household.
During our time in Tejerina we saw how beautiful the sense of community was. We realized how incredible their kinship was with one another in part due to the interdependency of the community as well as the household. In each house there was 2-7 people living without bedrooms and without beds. The kinship of the families made all of us self reflect on our lives in the United States as well as how we often try to leave our family household as soon as possible. While we were in the village we played soccer, did chores, and bonded with our host family. All of the families seemed extremely happy and positive despite what little belongings they had. The clear message in that for me, was how money cannot buy happiness, therefore peoples with should not be measured in their possessions but in their kindness and compassion. It was an incredibly eye opening experience for all of us and I know that we all have become better, more empathetic people through this experience.
After we had lunch with our host families we took the bus back to Matagalpa. Directly after we returned from the village we had a self reflection in small groups. We asked each other questions such as “What did you learn from the people that you shared with today that you will put into practice in everyday life?” in order to provoke ideas for how to create change for ourselves and for these people. After the self reflection we had free time to decompress after our time with the families. Directly after our free time we had to prepare for our English tutoring session which we would be doing later that night. After preparing detailed lesson plans, we showed them to our Global Glimpse Leaders, Noelle and/or Lauren. After finishing with ET prep we had dinner, which was also very minimal- more gallo pinto and tortillas. Once dinner was finished we headed to English Tutoring and set up for our lessons. Every time we teach we improve and learn more about our students, ourselves, and leadership in general.
Today was a very humbling day for all of us. Seeing the reality of poverty face to face made us think about our past and future decisions as well as how greatly money affects our lives. Personally, during this entire day I saw humanity at its rawest and it touched me. I hope that my decisions in the future will have a positive affect on these people and all of those in extreme poverty and I hope that every one does not define these people by their possessions or wealth but define them by their kinship, community, humility, and humanity.