Today was a challenge, but I’m more than happy that we did it. This challenge started with no electricity for a 24 hour period, starting at night. All we had was a flashlight in each room for our source of light and a bucket to shower in. Water was limited; we had to flush the toilets ourselves and use only the bucket to wash our hands, face, etc.
After a long night, breakfast was at 7:30 and we ate bread and drank juice. Around 8:30, we headed to Cerro de Mongollon to meet the families that were going to open their house and allow us to help them farm on their land. I think that all of the glimpsers were expecting a lot worse than what we saw. Upon meeting them, we asked many questions like “Do other people at your school treat you differently because you are from a different community?” and “What are your wishes from this community as you get older?” To our surprise, they were happy with their community, and wouldn’t change a thing except access to education.
Then came the farming. Pulling weeds and planting corn seemed fun at first but as time went on, it became tiring and difficult. We all came to a conclusion that these jobs required hard and long labor. By the time that we were done, all of us were worn out. I couldn’t imagine doing this type of labor everyday, yet these families did. Sitting down with the families was a great learning experience. I learned that although they come from a poor community, they still have aspirations to be bigger and better than what they are given. Teachers, lawyers, and nurses.
If I had to choose one thing that I took from today, it would be that you will carry your roots everywhere you go. In this small community, I see love and happiness where I wouldn’t expect it coming in to this delegation. This community is a whole family. When a lot of people see what they don’t have, they look at what they do have. What we might see as struggle (their hard work on the fields, walking 2 kilometers to school, having inconsistent electricity), they see as a way of life. When they go out to pursue their dreams of a doctor, lawyer, or teacher, they will always find a way back to their roots and I’m glad we got a glimpse of it.