Hello from Nicaragua! My name is Jessica and I was given the lovely privilege of being leader of the day for a $1 a day.
Our day technically started last night. The purpose of $1 a day was based upon living as 80% of the world has been, without any electricity and running water. We started the night by playing a card game of Mafia with the candles. Although the game was enjoyable with the candles, most people were not looking forward to the bucket water showers and no electronics. Lifting the bucket of water with limited light was difficult but it was also part of the experience. At first showering without any light and only a bucket of water was even a bit scary and defintely difficult. Especially for the girls trying to differentiate between conditioner and shampoo. As we became acustomed to the darkness and learned the skills to take an effective shower with the bucket water it was easy and defintely not as intimidating as it first seemed.
Compared to the previous days we had to wake up fairly earlier. I made the firsst wake up call at 5:30a.m. Most people were still sleeping but by the second call at 6:00a.m. people were awake. We had breakfast at Alfreitos at 6:30a.m and then left for Lapita at 7:15a.m. To Lapita the bus ride was quite bumpy but when we reached Lapita it was worth that long car ride. The community of Lapita consists of thirty-some families. Placed upon a mountain it was colder but air felt so much cleaner. We were assigned to different families with one or two buddies.
I went to one of the community leader’s house. We were supposed to experience everday life with the families in order to see how life is with only a dollar. Yet the families showed great hospitality. For example the family I was with continually offered coffee and tea to us. We did do some labor work such as chopping down wood for trash and crushing beans to make coffee. However these families were very generous and kind offering us all food as well as just time to relax.
I expected that the houses to be just like shacks along a road. I was surprised to find that the house in which I was in was actually quite large. She had a huge plot of land with mango trees, lemon trees, orange trees, and numerous different types of flowers. Since Dora was the community leader her house served as a hospital and restaurant. Because the nearby hospital was in Esteli which is one hour away, her house would serve as the hospital for emergency cases. If there was ever an emergency case they would have to walk an hour and thirty minutes to the hospital. Therefore it was very dangerous not having a hospital and the women had natural birth without any doctors. Dora who is a very strong woman had all six of her children at Lapita.
After sharing lunch with our families which we brought from Alfreitos we said our goodbyes and went back for English classes. We were all tired from the time with the families and the early morning but we all were positive to have a good English class with everyone. Today’s English class was full of great energy. People learned through singing and the younger children were able to play games while learning at the same time.
Free time was needed since everyone was tired. First we discussed the different ideas we had for the CAP project. We decided to grow a vegetable garden for the school which would be given to the children so they can have more nutritions for their meals. After an hour of relaxation time we all had dinner.
Although this was a long day with the families, I had a great time with my family. Dora was quite inspiring. She came from only living with less than $1 a day to being able to take care of her six children in which they were all able to have an education. Her hard work and strive is echoed through each of the families in the community. They all welcomed us and greeted us with great happiness. This long day was defintely worth it. Meeting the families and especially Dora was humbling. We live and are accustomed to so much more. Everyone was carving for sugar and snacks but these families live daily on rice and beans. It is seen that material things are not needed in order to have happiness because those families in Lapita exhibited great warmth and happiness.