Today, got up at 7 o’clock in the morning to have breakfast at 8 o’clock. We had delicious ham and American cheese omelets with two slices of white bread and refreshing cantaloupe juice. After breakfast we carried our chairs out to the garden in the back for our energizer, “I Love My Neighbor”. Everyone was smiling as we bumped into each other rushing from chair to chair. Afterwards we had our morning seminar on Poverty, where we reviewed the 5 P’s of Poverty and talked about the root of poverty. After 40 minutes of free time, Jesse came to the hostel. He told us about his journey overcoming challenges and finding his own path through service and love. He inspired us and opened our eyes to how much people can overcome. After his talk, we gave him the speaker gift and thanked him for opening up to us. Then we headed to the Dump. As we traveled along the windy road to the Dump, we noticed more and more trash accumulating along the road and felt the ruts in the unpaved road. As we drove up, we were hit with the sheer number of black vultures and as we unloaded, the force of the smell. We saw people sorting trash without any protection, emaciated dogs digging, and lush green mountains surrounding the dump. We briefly split into two groups. While one group helped set up the food table, the other climbed the mountain of trash. Later, when we regrouped, we talked with people who live off of the dump. These people talked about overcoming challenges much like Jesse’s. They told us about their love for Jesus Christ and how faith guided them into true happiness- living instead of just surviving. Instead of feeling pity for the couple or comparing their lives to our lives, we began, with Jesse and the couple’s guidance, to understand that happiness doesn’t stem from materialistic values, but from faith and love.
Then, we walked back down the mountain and began serving the people a meal of rice, beans, and grape juice. After, we headed back to the bus and to the hostel. Once there, we showered and went to La Favorita to have a delicious meal of steak, rice, mashed potatoes, salad, and iced tea. We planned our tutoring lessons and journeyed to the tutoring center. Even though some students did not show up, everyone felt that their lessons had gone well. Dinner at La Favorite was chicken tacos, Pico de gallo, guacamole with egg, and lemon tea. The night came to an end with our reflections, nightly meeting, and passing the torch to the torch to the next Leader of the Day.