Day Five – The Shack Experience – ‘Inga’s Story’

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starting-work-at-sunrise.jpgThis morning we woke at 5:00am to do our regular morning routine by flashlight – fill our water bottles, brush our teeth and eat breakfast. We walked a few blocks to our designated ‘bus’ pick-up point. As we walk down the streets we usually see other people also waiting for their bus to head out to the fields.When we got to the field it was still very dark so we got to relax for a few minutes until the sun rose enough that we could see. Our job in the field today was to go along the bottoms of the tomato plants and tear away all the leaves so the tomatoes could be exposed to the sun before getting picked. We started tearing away the leaves and realized that once again the Mexicans were way faster than us.working-together-in-field.jpgWe were all working on a row together to try and catch up to the others when we began to talk to Inga. She has a story that I wouldn’t have ever expected to hear. Inga is the mother of four daughters; they all attend school. She gets up early in the morning to prepare breakfast and lunch for her family. She goes to the field by 6:00am and the girls rely on their oldest sister to take care of them before and after school. We then asked if she had a husband. She told us that she does but that he goes to the United States for six months at a time to work as a landscaper in Utah. He comes home for two weeks at a time and then goes back for another six months. He sends them money and tells his wife not to work – but she doesn’t like to just be at home all the time so she comes to work in the field. warming-tortilla-on-coals.jpgHer husband got his papers to work in the States in 1980. Inga and their girls could possibly get their papers in the next year and then hopefully move to the States so the girls can get a better education. As we listen to her story I think to myself, “Why would anyone choose to be in the field when they could be at home?’ They go home with sore legs, knees, and backs and blistered, dirty fingers everyday.It’s hard to believe that for decades people can live seeing their loved ones for only four weeks out of a whole year. It really makes you realize that you shouldn’t take for granted the time you do have with the people you love – even when it is for more than four weeks a year.Jessica, a School of Leadership Student living in ‘The Shack’

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 27th, 2010