Hola friends, families, and fellow glimpsers!
This is Truong and today has admittedly been one of the most difficult days for our delegation. From the early wake up call at 5:30AM in the morning, a breakfast & dinner diet of solely Gallo Pinto and water, to showering with only a bucket of water; nonetheless, I can confidently say that everyone truly grasped the idea of what it means to live on “$1 a day”. After finishing our meal at el comedor La Favorita, we had a thirty minute resting period to prepare our minds and our bodies (with plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, and water) for a long day of hard work and loads of learning experiences at a rural Nicaraguan community in El Patanel. The delegation had their “bookbags” (according to Emily) complete with hand sanitizer, bug spray, sun screen, toilet paper, and travel journals. Once we arrived, the glimpsers were individually split, in groups of 2 to 3, from the bus and were escorted to the host families of which we were to stay in for half of the day; and the experience is one that many of us, will remember for a long time.
Since the day asked for a dynamic duo to be “los lideres del dia,” Troung and I (Kevin) stepped up to the plate. Now to share my experience with my host family, I would like to say that living on a $1 a day is nearly impossible. As Faven, Jorge and I were introduced to the family, I quickly noticed the very humble house they lived in, which consisted of wood scraps for the walls, logs that held the structure together, and hanging sheets that divided up the rooms only to find the recently married parents and kids awaiting us with the most sincere smiles. After getting to know each other a little bit, the kids and I learned that we both liked to play baseball and football (soccer). Next thing you know, we were playing baseball in the street (dirt road)! Then as more kids came by, including another host family with our fellow glimpsers, we created a game of soccer. We used piles of leaves to mark our “goal posts,” and enjoyed an intense, hilarious, hot game of football. We played many games with the kids such as, tag, dancing, drawing, marbles. Dylan and I also had kids up on our shoulders and ran around. Words cannot describe the inspiring feeling I felt, seeing these kids having fun from whatever they found.
Truong again! My experience with my host family couldn’t be fuller without Kat and Lizbeth, especially when we found out that Andy and Crystal would be helping the neighboring host family. The house itself was one home divided into two smaller living compartments; but one perk was the spacious backyard where we spent most of our time. We all helped the families by sweeping the dirty floors, hanging the laundry, shoveling the pile of trash in the backyard, and even bathed one of the kids…well Lizbeth did; but it goes without saying that the best chore we had was playing with the kids. Benji, Diana, Genessy, Martin, and Kelly were definitely the highlight of my day. The extent of their imagination and positivity was contagious and opened my eyes to see that regardless of your living conditions, it’s still possible to enjoy life. We had a fashion show, played musical chairs, capture the flag with a tanktop, imaginary bus driver with a few chairs, and traditional Nicaraguan games. Even though we were tired from their constant pleads of “vuelta!” we couldn’t stop smiling! After the lunch, which consisted of rice, salad, tortilla, and mixed vegetables, it was time to say our goodbyes. Diana and her sibling left us with warm special letters made with glitter, warm hugs, and bottles caps; while we left them with “the whip” and a letter for the whole family. What made it the hardest to leave my host family was not because they called us their hermano, hermana, mama, papa, tio, or tia but that in those short 6 hours, we were family. The host families welcomed up with open arms and treated us as if we had been a part of the family for a lifetime and that made the whole experience more worthwhile.
Kevin again for the last time. As we all settled on the bus, most of us tried falling asleep riding through the bumpy roads on the outskirts of Granada, especially since we didn’t have music to listen to which added to our day’s purpose. We got to the Hostel and we either relaxed or napped for an hour before heading over to the local school for English tutoring. This time we were able to walk in and some groups were lucky enough to have their students show up for class. As for the others who didn’t teach, they went on an adventure around the school having fun with whatever they found, just like we had learned from the humble children earlier in the day! After EnglishTutoring was done, we headed straight to El Comedor where a delicious plate of … YUP! you guessed it! Gallo Pinto awaited us. We then finished the day by passing the torch to our new leader of the day, Omari (studemiere), and self-reflection!
P.S You will hear about all the great stories soon! We wish we could share everything with you all, but it is 11:00pm in Granada and I really need to get some rest because we have to wake up at 6am for Poverty Day tomorrow. Anyways, thank you for the comments!! We love hearing them in our nightly meetings every night!
Cheers from Granada,
Kevin, Troung, and the rest of the family