After a long weekend of lots of free time and late nights we jumped back into our usual scheduling for Work like a Local Day.
I am Monica Zalog and I am pictured above (wearing the monster shirt) as I was the Leader of the Day. The objective of today was to learn more about the daily life of Nicaraguans here in Leon, specifically to experience the early wake up times and the nature of the work as well as comparing that to the money, or cordobas, earned. We teamed up with local vendors, or mercaderos, at Mercado la Estacion. In pairs or alone we tried to navigate the language barrier and effectively help out our vendors. We all bonded over the confusion and challenges that came with selling in the market and experienced a small part of what our vendors experience for long hours 7 days a week. It was eye opening when we continued to learn about how much most Nicaraguans earn and what one Cordoba means to them in their daily expenses and bills and to us when we spend money without much thought because 27 Cordobas equals 1 US Dollar. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun trying to sell to customers and speaking Spanish even if we didn’t know the language like learning to say numbers in Spanish and using phrases such as “What can I offer you?” or “Que les ofresco?” and “How much is it?” or “Cuanto vale?“
Today was not without its challenges. Due to technical difficulties we all woke up about 45 minutes late and the 4 hours at Mercado la Estacion went by slowly. Some students didn’t have enough to do, but we stayed positive and appreciated the extra sleep and did what we could to help the vendors and pass the time.
After the market and lunch we had quite a bit of free time and after some struggles to find an Internet Café a few of the delegates were able to call home which meant a lot to them as its been a week and I think we’re all starting to get home sick. (Sorry I didn’t call mom I took a nap on a hammock… feed the cat, I love you). Other people played Uno or other card games while some people rested like me. Overall, between the hours at the market and the free time we are getting closer as we spend more time together and we’re all trying to cherish the time we have together and absorb all we can because the first week flew by so fast.