“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” -Wade Davis
Hey, world. It’s Ana here.
Today, as a delegation, we undertook the reality challenge of living like a local. Our journey started off with a cock-a-doodle-doo wakeup call at 5:30 am. As a part of living like a local, we collectively decided to not use any electricity this morning and if we took a shower, it had to be very short and cold.
We left at 6:30 am for El Molino and were graciously accepted by Cesar, the head of the household in which we worked for today. We were split into three different groups: cooking in the kitchen, doing yard work, and harvesting corn that would be used for the next 10 months.
The kitchen crew (Cynthia, Nour, Patty, and Celest) harvested and peeled fresh vegetables, and made a vibrantly magnificent salad for lunch. They worked with the mother of Cesar and his wife to create a luxurious spread of food for our delegation.
The group that did yard work (me (Ana), Alex, Anai, and Bryant) initially started cleaning out an old animal pen with Cesar. Then we cut alfalfa to feed to the guinea pigs. Cesar also showed us his garden which was full with a plentiful variety of vegetables.
The harvesting group (Alexia, Alvaro, Michaela, Joey, Jannett, Caleb, Emily, Moises, Veronica, Kevin, and Darwin) had a small hike up to the cornfields with Raul (Cesar’s son). While they were up there, they collected two big bags of corn from the fields.
The entire delegation gathered before lunch at the house and began to take the kernels off of the corn cobs, peel beans for the lunch, and socialize with the family. Our lunch consisted of roasted chicken, fresh salad, beans, and potatoes. The desert was especially interesting because it was a traditional warm milk and quinoa drink.
We sadly had to go after lunch and said our goodbyes to the entire family. The bus ride home was chaotic because we had to prepare for our CAP (Community Action Project) presentation. The presentation went well; and we had a good discussion with Charito (a representative of the community we will help) in which we became closer to finalizing our CAP. (More details to come!)
I know that the whole group took something away from this inspiring experience, and that we all were very humble afterwards. What I saw at Cesar’s household is that although they don’t have a lot, they made a lot of what they have, and did it all with a smile on their face. It reminds me of some people I know, who have so much money, but have such little happiness and joy in their lives. But in this situation, I see people who have a different view in their life and don’t count money as their riches, but count their lives, and experiences, and joy as their riches.
Cesar’s family spread so much joy and laughter through everyone in our whole delegation. It felt like they were content with what they have and they accept what they don’t. They showed me that no matter how rich or poor you are, your view on life is what counts. You can choose how you want to feel based on your outlook on life. Anyways, as our whole group would aways say, “Don’t let anyone dim your light.”