Today we experienced living on one dollar. This simulation restricted the use of electricity, running water and extra food. This is how nearly half of the world’s population lives. In addition to these restrictions we visited 3 local Nicaraguan farmers and aided them with various tasks. The 20 of us were split up into 3 groups, one of which used machetes and pumped water from a well. Personally our group of 5 sorted firewood for a married Nicaraguan couple whose dignity and work ethic was very humbling to observe. When asked of their dreams the wife responded that her only wish was to work enough to survive. Similarly, another group asked a Nicaraguan farmer if she was happy, to which she replied, “Yes, because I have my health.” Such a response would be unimaginable to many first world citizens, whose every day worries range from Facebook statuses to cracked iPhone screens.
Our quote for the day was a phrase by a German philosopher Immanuel Kent, “We are not rich by what we posses but by what we can do without.” We feel this quote really embodies our goal for the day: To teach our Glimpsers that it’s not important what we own but that we own up to our responsibilities as privileged first world citizens. A lot of the time we believe that we own material things such as our beloved iPhones and various other objects, but really those materials possessions end up owning us. To us Americans the rural Nicaraguans may seem as the impoverished ones, but really they’re the ones who are truly rich because they know what really matters (sorry about the cliché).
Later in the day we presented our ideas for our community service project to the leader of a local preschool, Barriletes, who seemed especially receptive to our ideas. As a collaborative effort, we plan on organizing a library, painting 3 murals, and painting childrens bedrooms.