Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Arriving in Nicaragua

By: Caitlin Albright

We arrived safely in Nicaragua around noon today after being up all night and are now completely exhausted. This has been an incredibly long day and I think the whole team is anxious to just go to bed. We’ve been on the go since stepping off our bus this afternoon. After lunch, we visited a market and a mall to learn and experience the drastic differences of each.

The outside market was a crowded, loud, colorful center where families living in "poverty"  shop for groceries. We were given $40 Cordovas and twenty minutes to shop, barter and interact while shopping for food for a family of six. This was a huge challenge, as many of us don’t speak Spanish and had a hard time keeping up with the fast pace while hunting for the best price. Though this was an exciting experience, it was also overwhelming and a sad reality for many Nicaraguans who cannot afford three meals a day on $40 Cordavas, the equivalent of $2.

Driving through the city was probably my favorite part of the day.  We realized how quickly the scenery could change upon arriving at the mall. This place was the complete opposite of the market we had just visited. It was clean, spacious, trendy and was patronized by an entirely different group of people. These customers did not appear tired, they didn’t yell for your attention and were well dressed. The contrast between each place was so surprising to us and we’re eager to learn more about how this has come to be…But for now, I’m ready to go to bed. We’re all anxious to start Day 2 and hope you continue to follow us.

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