The theme of today was to experience how it’s like living like a local. Once the “El Lida Del Dia” torch was passed on to me, that was when most of the electricity in my hostel got shut off. In order to truly experience what it’s like to be in a rural area, you live with out basic luxuries. Such include: food sovereignty, electricity, up-to-date technology, clean water and many more that we take advantage of from a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, in order to pretend to live like a local, we weren’t allowed to wear flashy clothes, jewelry, and even bring cameras. The main takeaway from today was how unappreciative we are with what we already have.
On our trip to Cesar’s house in a rural area, my group got served with a very basic breakfast, which was a piece of bread. To my group, it was the most simple breakfast we have had for the past ten days. However, we took into consideration of the breakfast others may have. Some people may not even have a breakfast to begin with. The highlights of the day had to be harvesting corn for the first time. I didn’t really know how hard it really was to harvest corn until today. Besides that, Cesar, the owner of the farm also gave a guided tour to my group around his farm.
From a trout farm, to a guinea pig farm and onto a basic garden, it was truly an amazing experience to see how people survive on their own by planting and making their own food. Some challenges I had to overcome were crossing a log over a running stream. I wanted to risk my life crossing it but I stepped back and toke an alternate route to cross the stream.
Other than that I had to overcome my shyness and step up being a leader. It was hard at first but it felt natural as the day went by. Being ELDD has to be the most stressful position I had to be put in. I have to make sure my group is healthy,happy, and safe at all times and I am responsible for each individual. I had to check for any food allergies, make sure everyone’s hands were sanitized before meals and also control my group when problems arose. I also had to be outspoken and follow my schedule or else my timing would be off for each activity.
The people I met today were Cesar and his family. His family welcomed us into his home and also served us a Ecuadorian delicacy, “cuy” (guinea pig) for lunch. His family taught my group how to cook and prepare meals and also taught us how to harvest corn. Cesar was very happy to educate young individuals like us on his farming techniques. We learned a lot today and hopefully we become more appreciative and happy with what we already have.Overall it was a tough experience to live like a local.