Day 11: Working like a Local
Today was our day to experience what it’s like to work and sell clothes in a busy market in León. We had partners in which we would be assigned to a booth to help that particular one sell their products.
6:30 – We woke up extra early to get ready for the day and wake up everyone else. The night before had been a bit tricky because it was challenging to get everyone in their beds on time. The boys especially were not cooperating but Janice and I made do. The morning however was a bit tricky for the girls because the shower wasn’t working at all and Janice had gotten stuck in there for a good 5 minutes 😂. But we made do and had filled a bucket for her to use.
8:30 – After breakfast, we all walked to the Santos Bárcenas Market. There were shops lining the sides of the street selling all different kinds of clothes, bejeweled jeans, and shoes. Everyone was paired up and assigned to a different booth. We (Winnie and I💚) were at a booth with a really friendly woman named Carla. There was also a competition going on between all of us to see who could help sell the most items.
It was really interesting trying to sell products as people were walking by, especially with our limited Spanish. The shop owners would grab people passing by and lure them into their booths with talk of their cute shirts and “pantalones,” so we followed suit and tried to say hello to everyone and encourage them to come to OUR booth. Our shop owner, Carla, would point out the potential customers, especially the muchachos.
12:00 – We ate a delicious 🍚 lunch🍗 at the market with our shop owners. It was fun to get to talk more with Carla about the places we’ve been and where we’re from. Later, we met with the manager of the entire market, Frances Martinez Reyes, and thanked her for allowing us to have such a unique experience.
Janice: I really loved getting to live the local work life, even for just a day. It was fun to interact not only with Carla, my shop owner, but also with the passing locals. I also got to see how all the women who worked at the market had close relationships with each other. Though they were basically competing with each other to sell more, they still were always ready to immediately help and give each other any products another shop might not have. I loved seeing how our whole group worked really hard to help sell products, even if we didn’t speak perfect Spanish. In addition, I really enjoyed being a leader with Winnie; working with her was a lot of fun, as she’s an awesome person👍. I learned to speak up louder, use a lot of teamwork, and was reminded to match my tone with each individual or group I spoke to. Overall it was just an amazing experience to work with such a fun group who is always making each other laugh and supporting each other.
Winnie: Today was quite an unforgettable experience. Working like a local in the Santos Barcenas Market was definitely something that I have never pictured myself doing. Being able to actually get a hands on experience and learn the ways of the market was different to say the least. I had already known that coincidentally being partnered with my co-leader of the day, Janice, was going to make my day extra special. Meeting our shop owner, Carla, was a whole other thing. She was a character of her own, who had no qualms when spotting her prey and pulling them into our booth. She was also super talkative and had done her best to include us in the sales. Being in front of a booth with fellow Glimpsers, Kayla and Rhees, was also a big plus. They had brought laughs and giggles with their personalities and salsa moves. Janice was also a gigantic part of my love for today. She is a genuinely enjoyable person to be around and I’m glad that I signed up to be her partner. The past 11 days have really opened up my eyes to not only the world around me, but the people around me. The ones I have met on this trip, that I have grown closer to, and I have bonded with have brought out thoughts and feelings in me that I never want to forget. It’s crazy to think that 11 days ago, we were practically strangers who hadn’t interacted before. It’s crazy to think that 11 short days could bring me the friends and experiences I have now. It’s also crazy to think that in a mere 7 days, I’ll be back home in San José, California. But I know that the different surroundings won’t affect the bonds that Global Glimpse has opened the door for me to form.