What did we see?
‘Wealth in family and relationships.’
‘Cows, chickens, pigs, puppies, roosters, goats.’
‘Beauty in simplicity.’
‘Pigs being born.’
‘Nature’s lightshow: a million fireflies in a field at night.’
‘My host mom’s smile.’
‘Hope overpowering struggles.’
What did we hear?
‘Roosters at 4 in the morning.’
‘Raindrops on a tin roof.’
‘My host dad’s motorcycle.’
‘Every farm animal and/or bug sound ever.’
‘The rhythmic pounding of my host mom’s hands flattening tortillas.’
‘The poor get poorer, the rich get richer, and we hope that he (Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president) will raise us up.’
‘Laughter, singing, and hope from my host family.’
How can I possibly attempt to summarize our home-stays? I can write sentences upon sentences of awkwardly stumbling over Spanish phrases with encouraging smiles from my host family, a puppy/kitten/chick cuddlefest (probably the cutest thing ever), and a winding dirt road that knitted together one of the closest communities I have been lucky enough to have been in. Our experiences were varied, our host families different, and our perception of this time impressionable beyond words.
San Ramon took us beyond what we are used to and we lived in solidarity with a family sharing meals, stories, and laughter. Each of us worked on relationships with host moms, dads, sisters, and brothers. It was more than just hearing about certain issues from experts but being thrown with families who have lived through them. Everything we learned was amplified by being welcomed into a family who told us their story so that we may educate others. Their stories have become our stories.
More than any other post I find it difficult to try to summarize this experience because mine was just one of 20 completely different perceptions. Now we have the challenge of taking these personal relationships and seeing where, exactly, they fit in with what we’re learning about economic, political, and social relations between the United States and Nicaragua.
In compensation for the words that I can’t quite find, I will post some pictures that will hopefully give a glimpse of what our lives have been like in the Campo.