Jane: Today’s wake-up call was at 6 AM. Which is never a good sign.
But despite the sleep still in our eyes and with our legs dragging behind us, we made it to the IDIAF, a research institute on agriculture, ready for the challenges that lay ahead. Today we learned about what it is like to work like a San Juan local. At the institute, we separated into three groups: bean pickers, hoe-ers, and weed-ers. The sun was extremely hot as usual, making the greenhouse a living inferno and the fields a frying pan. The work was harder than we had all expected; indeed, working like a local is no easy task.
Living like a local (the agenda for the day before) was a eye opener that showed us what it was really like to live on such little money, and yet at the same time, to be able to find happiness in the little details of just living life. Today was another eye-opener. As we were pulling out weeds in the humid greenhouse, one of the workers alongside us was singing. He said “Buenos dias!” to us and pulled out the weeds, singing the lyrics to a song in Spanish. The way that he was so enthusiastic and jolly despite the grueling work really inspired us to try to find our own happiness, which seemed to have disappeared as quickly as our supply of cold water. And we did, in the form of camaraderie and satisfaction with our. Like Malcolm X said, “There is no better than adversity.”
Juliana: Although we were exhausted not only from waking up at 6am, but also pulling out weeds that seemed impossible to get rid of, we all sure realized that money can NOT buy happiness. The workers that work on the fields, spend hours pulling weeds, hoeing, and planting to make very little money. The amount of money they make does NOT affect the way that they put their all in those fields. Pushing through the heat, crankiness and hunger today for those three hours we were working like a local , proved to us that together we are a family. Together we can come together, no matter the challenge and accomplish anything.
After what seemed like an eternity on the fields, and tutoring the amazing kids and the Colegio, we had a great dinner. We had some Mangu, and enjoyed some bachata. We turned up the music, and ended our night with some dancing. As some stood up to dance, the whole group joined and we can all agree that today was mind blowing! We worked hard and it always pays off because when we go back home we’ll be able to say we can accomplish anything!