Millions of flies invading our face’s personal space, tens of children melting their way into our hearts, and a handful of mini heart attacks as we embraced the true Nicaraguan experience during our first public bus ride. Needless to say, Poverty Day was full of memories, all wild yet insightful.
The dreaded wake up call hit everyone hard at 6:30 a.m. Everyone slowly awakened from their beauty sleep and prepared for a jammed pack day. We were met by a different breakfast dish of pancakes and pineapples at the usual spot Commedre Imabite. After our delightfully American meal, we headed back to the hostal for a fun-filled academic seminar. The seminar was jumpstarted with a few rounds of Little Sally Walker to get people up on their feet. After the quick energizer, we immediately dived into an eye-opening seminar. During the seminar, Daniel and Elly gave us a lesson on the 5 P’s of poverty: Place, People, Politics, Past, and Peace. We all then learned about how each of these “P’s” or factors of poverty affected poverty here in Nicaragua. To wrap things up, we ended the seminar with an educational activity that involved a group share out about which of those “P’s” of poverty most affected Nicaragua.
Soon, we threw our thickest and longest pair of jeans, shirts, and even shoes to mentally as well as physically prepare ourselves for the long day ahead of us, starting with the trip to the Municipial Dump of Leon. As always, we took our private bus armed with deafening American pop music to the place where about 100 Nicaraguans worked tirelessly to support their family members. As the bus made its way near the entrance of the dump, the stark contrast of the piles of trash and the surrounding lush moutain views shot at us as hundreds of flies invaded into our supposedly private bus. Soon after stepping off our bus and leaving our belongings safely into the hands of our bus driver, our group of 24 amigos learned more about the dump as Hector, the manager of the place, gave us a 10 minute introduction about the process and background of the dump. As leaders of the day, we (Ada and Cecilia) presented Hector with a small token of appreciation (a poncho from Sports Authority) and before we knew it, we all embarked on a mission to gather and invite the workers to a friendly match of futbol as well as some small games for the less futbol enthusiastic crowds.
Smoke littered the blue, sweltering skies while humongus black crows circled crowds of dirt and trash, ready to pounce at any edible creatures [note: no glimpsers were harmed during this tour ;)]. As we inched closer and closer to the smoky area, we spotted more workers rummaging through the piles of trash in search for any recyclable materials. Slowly but surely, we approached these workers and encouraged them to join us. Less than 5 minutes later, 25 men and women joined us as the men engaged in the intense futbol match while the women sat down with the other half of us for some icebreakers and questions. As the futbol match went on, the women shared their experiences and stories. Then, reality hit us… hard.
Dirt ridden skirts and ripped, short blouses attempted to protect their damaged skin and wrinkled faces, but as we could tell quickly, it didn’t work. As we conversed more with these three women, it was clear that they were truly affected by the dire effects of poverty. From waking up at 4 a.m. to walking 6 hours plus every single day just to put food on the table, it is truly disheartening yet respectable to see that these women really do it all. As it turns out, they were all sisters who still had a whole life ahead of them, with the oldest being only 45 years old, yet appearing to be much older than her story tells.
After a true and tried battle, the global glimpser crew lost to the workers 1-4 in the most glorious way one can lose. Then, everyone participated to help hand out some baked goods and chilled juice to the workers. We then boarded the bus after an insightful visit at the Municipial Dump and commenced to head back to the hostal for our mandatory showers.
Gallo pinto, chicken, and salad– lunch was the usual as we then did a quick self reflection of the emotions felt and sights viewed during our tour of the dump. Quickly thereafter, Noel led our group of eager glimpsers to catch our first public bus. After one of the most hectic yet fun bus rides of our lives, our group arrived at the orphanage where we were met by Sister Maria Christo. She showed us a short tour of the orphanage, where groups of children were on different corners playing sports from futbol to a parachute game. Everyone then quenched their thirst of knowledge as we asked the sister some questions regarding the orphanage. After presenting the sister with a gift, we then went on another roller coaster of a ride on the public bus one last time for the day.
Finally, 6:00 p.m. came by and another stressful day of learning and exploration came to an end as everyone then held English tutoring classes for the second time. Filled with educational lessons on the preposition “by” and some games of “Slap It,” we personally felt that due to better preparation and experience, our class in particular went especially well.
To cap it all off, we all came back to the hostal and directed the nightly meeting, ensuring to sum up our day’s activities as well as hand off the torch to our next leader, Natalie!
*****Note from leaders Daniel and Elly: The internet at our hostel is very slow and often resists our photo upload attempts. We apologize, but we’ll try again tomorrow!*****