Summers in the U.S are always great. Waking up at the brink of the afternoon and then not getting up until your bladder gets the best of you.
It was different in Matagalpa though. I woke up today with the weight of being El Leader Del Dia and a full bladder at five in the morning.
The day’s theme was about living on $1 a day in Nicaragua. We woke up having to use bucket showers and no electricity, while also just eating rice and beans for breakfast.
We took a bus to El Llano Grande, which translates to “The Big Field.” The name held its promise, it was a field with big families, holding on to the simplicity of what life was all about. Not having the latest iPhone, not having boatloads of cash, not even having the best home, but being happy.
The families we visited all had daily chores. Whether it was farming, feeding the chickens and pigs, or caring for the kids; they kept themselves busy.
I always asked these questions when I taste the best sushirrito (which you should all try) or when I use my iPhone to solve some sort of problem. I ask, “how can I/ anyone live without this?!”
That is a questions that many of my peers at home and here have most likely asked. How can people live without flush-able toilets, or how can they live with just eating the same thing over and over and over again.
But today we learned that we don’t need expensive phones or cars. All we need is love and just the plain necessities of life. Isn’t that what life, in the end, is all about? Going to bed at night and just being happy?
I was really surprised about how the language barrier between my peers and the families did not affect communication a lot. It taught me that we’re all human, so we all speak one ethereal universal language of some kind.
I’m just really proud that everyone today was happy with what we did. Everyone really enjoyed being with other families. I also admired the passion of my companions when they taught English classes today. Everyone was extremely motivated and compassionate.
The most inspiring person I met today would have to be… I’m not sure. I would say just the family I was paired with today. They were very hospitable and I feel like they had what many affluent people back in the states didn’t have; satisfaction and happiness in life.
Being El Lider Del Dia was a little nerve-wrecking at first, but my peers were very respectful and nice, in addition to my awesome GG Leaders and Coordinators. They made it easy for me!
Today I learned that I need to appreciate what I have. Yeah, corny… But it is true. I also learned that we’re all connected somehow. I’m going to keep it real, I have never written something so cliche, but everything is true.
What a beautiful post, Liping!
When you all get back home, check out Jack Lalanne’s video on happiness (type in his name and “unhappy people” on youtube. It is from another era (1950s) but the message is relevant even now.
It is great to see you all getting involved with the people in productive and meaningful ways.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful day! And for your awesome reminder, you put so simply… that, at the end of the day, no where we are from, or what our background, financial, cultural or otherwise, we are all connected…
We’re continuing to live vicariously through your posts! Looking forward to tomorrow’s!!