“There is no luck in business there is only drive, determination, and more drive.” – Sophie Kinsella
Day 10 is officially in the books! This is Kenneth and Osiel checking in with all the M2A supporters out there, especially our number one supporter Grandee! Today’s objective was to experience how it is working like a local and the hardships they have to go through every single day. Because of this experience we see how underpaid these workers are and that the only reason they continue working is to provide support for their families.
(K) Our day began as soon as it was 4:00 am, needing to wake everybody up bright and early. As soon as our watches reached 4:30 am, we definitely made an impression with our first wakeup call of the morning. As I overdid the knock on Cole’s door, he rushed out thinking we were the DEA and stated my knocking had almost made him pee himself. What I hadn’t realized was I woke up nearly half the group with my obnoxious knocking. Osiel, on the other hand, took a calmer, more gentler approach by politely knocking and asking if everyone was awake. Keep in mind we needed to be on the bus by 5:30 am and most people still were not out of bed (especially the girls). With a little help from some of the balc bros (AKA Cole and Edgar), we sang Katy Perry’s Firework. Because of our beautiful singing, almost the entire hostel had woken up. All but one, a sleepy Minmyat. We had to literally drag this dude out of bed in order for him to get ready. With time being the essence of the morning, we managed to get everyone on the bus by 5:20 am with plenty of time to spare. The 40 minute bus ride to La Canavalia consisted of plenty of naps and some awesome music from DJ William (AKA Mr. Stegeman).
(O) Upon arrival, we made our way to their kitchen where we ate the same things as always, beans and rice. After breakfast, it was time for work. None of us had a clue about what was in store for us. We were split into four groups containing about 5 people. Our group was assigned last. We saw the other groups grab hoes and shovels but our group, without any materials, followed one of the workers to our designated location. The journey to our location was really tough. The path was very muddy and our shoes became drenched in mud. Proceeding through the path, we had to stay alert in order to avoid the trail of cow feces. When we arrived to our destination, we saw tons coffee bean plants. The worker who accompanied us told us our task was to remove any weeds to ensure that all the nutrients went to the plants themselves. It started off easy but as time moved on, the sun had risen and the heat increased. Our backs started to hurt from bending over to pick the weeds. After three hours our time there was over. We were so relieved when the clock hit 10:30 am and it was time to head home. While working, we asked the farmer some questions to learn more about the workers’ opinions on their jobs.
(K) Osiel’s description of our experience in the field was nothing compared to what the other groups had seen. Some of the groups got into some pretty deep trouble. Most of them were stuck cleaning cow, chicken, and horse feces from the pens and stables. Some respect for my delegation for not complaining when things got tough and just sticking with it until the job was finished. Around 10:30 when it was time for snacks all I can remember was how terrible Harmon and Dahn smelled after their jobs. I knew that even though they didn’t smell so good, they left with a sense of accomplishment. We truly placed ourselves in the footsteps of the workers and saw how difficult their work actually was. The disappointing part was hearing how much the workers made per day, which varied from 60-150 Córdobas (which converts to about $2-5). Mr. Stegeman brought to light that the amount they make per day is roughly the amount that each of us spend on iced coffee when we go out on our free days. That really got to me because what one person has to work an entire day for, most of us just blow off as if it were not that much. The reality of it is, it’s unfair to them because they have very little opportunities in life. That glimpse remind us of how fortunate we are but also inspired us to become agents of change and take action.
(O) Following the rigorous work in the fields, we needed to finalize our presentation for our Community Action Project (CAP). Our ideas for the mural and tile work were almost finished, the only thing missing was how much everything was going to cost. With Denis’s help and help from our Budget Managers (Kenneth and Cole), we managed to fit everything in the budget with some money to spare. Any left over money will be allocated to the students and any further necessities they may need. The presentation went wonderfully and I am definitely excited for CAP 1, which will be on Tuesday, June 21. So make sure to stay tuned with the daily blogs to see how CAP 1 goes!
Thank you to all our supporters out there, this is Kenneth and Osiel signing out! Hasta Luego!
P.S. Shout out to all the dad’s out there reading this on Father’s Day. On behalf of your children, I would like to say we are all more than grateful for what each and every one of you do for your families. This trip has truly shown us the greater importance of the family. We all wish we could call and speak with all of you, but for now happy Father’s Day on behalf of M2A.
P.S.S. For all you Warriors fans, please comment the final score for Game 7. We have an anxious group of GS fans here in Matagalpa waiting to hear how bad the Cavaliers lost!