Planning for Week in the Life, learning what it was about, and trying to think of ways to prepare for it, was all very exciting. However, now that we are actually a part of the experience, we have a totally new mindset. So far this week we have learned new cooking skills and how to work in the orchard and in the fields. The first day we had it pretty easy, moving into our house, cooking and setting up around home. Monday was harder, adding work at the orchard to chores and cooking was rough. Our work included cleaning up debris and leaves, and watering the trees. A seven hour day, working in the hot sun was exhausting, and then when we got home we had to do maintenance on our house, grocery shopping, and cooking. It made us realize the work people have to do every day to make little money and keep up their living spaces.
Monday night was a tough one. It rained a little bit, getting many of our things wet, including our firewood and matches. So on Tuesday morning it took us a long time to get the fire started to refry our beans for lunch. With no time to walk to the bus, we had to pay for a ride. It was not the best morning, but it is all part of the experience and learning about daily challenges that arise when you don’t have access to electricity, a stove, or a secure shelter.
Our work on Tuesday was at a local farm picking strawberries. Because the bushes were not mature, there were not a lot of berries to pick. Thankfully, when it’s like this the farmer pays each worker by the day, not by the case of strawberries.
Within these first few days we have learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and life. It is the people around you that help you out when times are tough. We recognize that we all need to stay positive and determined and we can learn a lot through this experience. With this in mind, I came to the realization that every outhouse is going to be gross so I might as well get over it. I also understand now that when I am at home and my mom comes home from work and I say “What’s for dinner?” that I’m not being fair to her because she’s been working all day. It’s very tiring to go to work and then come home and continue working around the house. I commend the people here who wake up before the sun and labour in the fields all day. I also admire the people at home, in Mexico, and elsewhere in the world that put in a full day of hard work, return home and find the energy to raise a family and maintain a household.
– Grace, Live Different Academy Student 2015