Hola! I’m Christian Poon, and I was El Lider Del Dia for this eventful and emotional day. It was completely different than the past days because it allowed us to personally reflect on our lives and what we saw.

Today, we had to wake up at 5:30 in order to get ready for breakfast at 6:00. This was not the greatest beginning of the day because breakfast was not ready until 6:45. In order to past the time, we had an academic seminar about poverty, and we learned about the statistics of poverty in the world, as well as specifically in Nicaragua. It was astonishing to see the statistics, and it gave us something to think about during the day. As El Lider Del Dia, this morning stressed me out because there were many changes to the intended itinerary, and I had to encourage the group to be flexible with that.

We all took a bus to the city dump, Los Binos, with members of Club Infantil. We were not allowed to bring cameras to this place because it was a very personal place to take pictures at, so we all took a picture before going!

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It was a very emotional for us when we got to Los Binos. We saw some kids filling up buckets of water, and we realized that they were getting ready to take a shower. As soon as we figured this out, I heard gasps all over the bus. This was the first emotional moment for the group as a whole, and it made me reflect on the showers I have had all my life.

We walked into Los Binos, and saw many homes built out of all the garbage. There were many flies, dogs, trash, and people all over the place. It was very surprising for me to see everything with my own two eyes. When it rains, the whole place can literally flood. The people that live there get their water by walking nearly 1.5 miles to the nearest faucet. They get their food from another community outside of Los Binos, and bring it back home to cook. Although it was upsetting to see the poverty, it was still great to see that all of the people were happy and prideful of their situation. We all decided to play an intense game of soccer together at a nearby field, and it was a really fun experience.

I was proud to see that everyone was having such a good time, despite the emotions and hardships that everyone went through today. Before going back to the hostel, I told everyone to take a moment of silence in the bus to reflect on what we had just seen and experienced. When we got back, I asked the members of Club Infantil, “¿Quieren comer almuerzo con nosotros a la una y media?” They said yes, and they came over to the hostel after we all showered.

When the Club Infantil Members came over, we asked questions about Los Binos and their experiences there. It was another emotional moment because we were reflecting on it again. They planned a project to build a water system in there so that the people can have better access to water. It was a touching moment to talk about the situation again.

Later that day, we had to go to Benjamin Zeledon again to teach English classes. English classes seem to be getting better and better as time goes on because we are getting the hang of teaching. This also included getting to know our students, and I felt like I learned Spanish while trying to teach English because these students speak Spanish to me.

This day was a self-reflection day. We got to reflect a lot on our experience at Los Binos, and it made us appreciate our lives a lot more. It was an eye-opening experience because seeing poverty with our own eyes is completely different than reading or hearing about poverty. We think poverty is determined by what people lack, and although these people lack basic needs, they do not lack heart. They share compassion with each other, stick together like families, and always try to smile. It was definitely a day to look back on.

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