Today we had one of the most emotional and reflective days of the trip: Poverty Day. Keeping in mind we were going to go to the dump, we dressed in long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy shoes to prepare ourselves for the potentially hazardous environment. After a delicious breakfast of gallo pinto (rice and beans), we had an informative seminar (talk) about poverty in Nicaragua. We talked about events of the past, places, former peace, current people, and politics of Nicaragua that led up to the current poverty situation. The talk prepared us for what we were going to see at the dump in Estelí. After a 20 minute “quiet” reflective bus ride we arrived at the dump and met Doña Francisca who talked to us a lot about her life living near, and working at a dump. She quickly inspired many of us by talking about her work recycling the people’s trash. She taught us to be more conscious of what we waste and be more grateful for what we have. It all connected to our quote of the day “Alone, human beings can feel hunger. Alone, we can feel cold. Alone we can feel pain. To feel poor however, is something we do only in comparison to others” – Eric Greitens. We learned how the word “poor” is relative and how we only feel sadness about what we have when we see others with things we don’t have. At the dump we saw trash lit on fire, dogs roaming around, and large piles of waste. It was amazing to see how much people throw away. Every glimpser came back feeling grateful and inspired by Doña Francisca. Once we returned we all had a mandatory shower and some free time before lunch. After lunch we had self reflection where the glimpsers got into groups to discuss what we’ve learned today. Many noticed how people in the U.S. are much less optimistic about their social status whereas people who work in the dump in Nicaragua are content and able to live happily with their situation. After self reflection and lunch we had another seminar about our Community Action Project (CAP). After much brainstorming about what we should build and improve for the kids at Preescolar, we settled on painting a mural, building tables, and planting trees. The school really needed new tables for the kids and teachers and tree shade for the children playing outside. After preparing for our second English class, everyone was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful juicy hamburger for dinner paired with a sweet watermelon slush drink. After a short walk to our school for teaching English, everyone had a fun filled energetic class with kids, teens, or adults. It was definitely enjoyable to see everyone making an effort to learn English and having fun doing so. To wrap up the day we had a nice nightly meeting and we’re very excited for our first free day tomorrow!

“Peace out from Estelí 1A, later!”

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