Hi everyone! I hope everyone is doing great. This is Yanely writing, along with Genesis. Because of the busy and hard day we had, the day required of two leaders. Today everyone had a life changing experience. Poverty day. We had to wake up, a bit earlier than usual, but nothing too hard. At around 6:30 in the morning, Genesis and I started going to each cabin, waking everyone up. Half an hour later, we were eating a delicious breakfast made by our wonderful cooks. However, the breakfast was not our typical meal. The goal of this whole day was to put ourselves in the shoes of the people who live on $1 a day and understand their daily challenges. Our breakfast consisted of two slices of bread and a cup of oatmeal. As always, the food was amazing. 😀

Afterwards, we took part in two different seminars. One talked about poverty in general and another on individuals who survive on a dollar a day. As Sarah, our GG leader, read facts about individuals in developing countries, I could not help but look at everyone and look at their reactions. The fact that I found most surprising was that approximately 26,000 to 30,000 children die each day due to poverty. A question that many of us ask younger kids in the United States is what they want to be when they grow up. Or what they see themselves doing in ten years. Many say they want to be a teacher or become an astronaut. If you ask the same question to a child in a developing country they will probably not say the same thing. Many parents don’t know if they will have enough money to feed their children. It’s amazing the amount of things we take for granted.

After the two seminars, Pichilin, our wonderful driver, came and drove us to Los Francos. We quickly separated in four different groups and got to work. My group and I helped wash dishes with a very limited amount of water and after we swept the floor outside the house. It was completely different. After, we all headed to the only source of water that the community has, a well. We carried the buckets of water on our heads and took them back to the homes of the families we were assigned to. After we were done with chores, we spent some time playing with the children, getting to know them better. At around 1 o’clock, we started walking back to where lunch was being served, which consisted of beans with rice and salami. It was soooooooo good.

After our grand lunch with the local community of Los Francos, we spent some time to play with the children. Hand games, face painting, and bubbles (thanks to Isa) were some of the few things we did together. Kitty was in charge of the face painting and somehow got everyone to join in and help, like Van, Julieanne, Skyler, Linda, and then myself (Genesis) . We were all bombarded by so many children at once, yet we enjoyed ourselves as immensely as them. Also thanks to Isa’s donation of toothbrushes and toothpaste, we saw more smiles amongst the community. Then it was time for our meeting with the local community to discuss local issues, ask curious questions, and mention underlying concerns. Once all was said and done our delegation headed out, to return to our rancho, but of course without saying heart felt goodbye’s. Reaching the rancho we had a bit of free time for the usual hygiene management, which in this case consisted of only a bucket of cold water, following our ‘Living on a dollar day’ theme.

Dinner, one of the favorite periods of the day quickly followed, granted us with simple vegetable soup and bread. It’s was our god sent savior, for the few of us who were beginning to feel the onset of a cold. Our nightly meeting came around, and we reflected over the day’s events and how it’s lessons would be carried with us after this adventure of a trip. One example being our realization of the daily complaints we say at home to be insignificant and unnecessary, which I believe every parent will be extremely grateful for in days to come. We hope everyone is doing as great as we are here. We all love you so so much. Have a great day! <3 😀