Hola! Our names are Ananya Krishnaswamy and Anureet Kaur! We are today’s leaders of the day and we both attend Irvington High School which is situated in Fremont, California. We are both co-captains of our school’s Bhangra team. Bhangra is a North Indian folk dance and it’s more exciting than it sounds, we promise. We both heard of the Global Glimpse program through our friends and upperclassmen at our school.
We are both leaders for the ever exciting…“LIVING ON $1 A DAY” DAY! This day actually started last night by having absolutely no electricity and using a very little candle as our light source. Furthermore, we had 17 teenagers trying to pack for the day while bumping into random things in the middle of the night. About 7 hours later, we woke up at 5 a.m. in order to get ready for today’s adventure. All of the students, if not last night, took a bucket shower this morning instead of running water. Fillma bucket, and pour water from a bowl. Most of us had never done that before. On the one hour bus ride to the El Robeldal community, we had a very modest packed breakfast of Gallo Pinto (rice and beans), a slice of bread, and cheese.
Once we reached the El Robledal community, we split up into our partners/groups and stayed with our designated host families from about 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We made tortillas, washed clothes, and swept the floors. But obviously, because this was our first time washing clothes by hand or making a tortilla by hand, we were often laughed at by our host families. However, we were accepted into the community with open arms and treated in a generous manner. The students also brought along a packed lunch (chicken patties,bread, a small portion of salad, and rice) not only for themselves, but also for their host families as a token of appreciation.
After that, we spent time with our host families, we had a small party/get together with everyone in the community and had many activities for the kids such as musical chairs and a PINATA! We gave out small gifts and prizes to the children like balloons, pencils, lollipops, and other candy. After a crazy party, the leader of the community was presented with some photographs of the CAP project done by the previous glimpsers. We left with heartfelt goodbyes, a few tears, and hugs all around.
Back at the hostel and after a bumpy bus ride, the whole group decided to work on the Design portion of our CAP, (Community Action Project), willingly sacrificing our free time to figure out which students will be focusing on certain portions of the CAP. At 4:30 p.m. the whole group watched the film “Dreaming Nicaragua” which was a documentary that portrayed stories of poverty within the children in Esteli. It truly gave a face and perspective to poverty, and our whole group was deeply affected and felt inspired to do the best CAP possible.
After the documentary, we had another modest meal which consisted of Gallo Pinto and plantains. Our nightly meeting was done by candlelight, adding to the emotions of our day. Our self-reflections followed, a group discussion with critical questions about our day with our visitors joining us and sharing their knowledge and experience. It was hard to end, but sleep is important.
Today was a very enlightening day that hopefully all of us will take into account for when we arrive back in the U.S. With a long day behind us, hopefully we will get the sleep that we deserve tonight.