Hello to our families back at home!

It’s your leaders of the day, Katherine and Reid. Today we were welcomed by Don Jaime on his farm, Ayahuaira. Before beginning our work he played a traditional instrument called the minga, which is like a horn, used to bring community members together or warn of danger (before they had cell phones!) Then our work began at the top of a hill, filling up bags with manure. The work was difficult and somewhat smelly, but we handled the task with bravery and determination. After filling the bags, we carried them down to the fields where we spread the manure. It was really rewarding to see how all of us instinctually worked as a team to get the job done. We also got to see horses in the fields, as well as his farm dogs.

After finishing our work on the fields, we moved to an area of the farm where Don Jaime was storing his harvested potatoes. We were told to separate his pile of potatoes into two, allowing them to effectively dry in the sunlight. It was a struggle to organize ourselves at first, but we eventually figured out how to distribute tasks effectively thanks to a certain leader of the day. Don Jaime said that we completed a weeks worth of work in two hours which boosted my ego, perhaps a little too much. Before we left, Don Jaime gave us a powerful speech about how important it is to preserve the environment through organic agriculture, as well as encouraging us to preserve our bodies and planet when we go back home. I thought it was interesting to see all the hard work that goes into growing our food, and I thought it was really impressive that he managed to do all the work that we did by himself.

We finished our day with a self reflection and discussion of the day’s events, followed by an exquisite dinner at Roma Santa with a surprise cake from Isabel! Our experience being leaders of the day was pretty positive. We took initiative to instruct our group and follow the day’s protocol. We got people organized and motivated, and carried around jugs of water and hand sanitizer for our group.

Thinking of you all at home! We’re heading to bed now… In a while crocodile!