Aujourd’hui, pour notre première journée du voyage, nous sommes allées au marché local à Granada. À cause des rues chaotiques, nous devions marcher une en arrière de l’autre, et Dr. Perez nous expliquait en détail ce qu’on voyait. En entrant, il y avait des gens qui vendaient des fruits et des légumes pleins de mouches et même qu’il y en avait avec de la moisissure. De plus, il y avait des femmes qui vendaient des brassières dans les rues. Ensuite, on a passé devant une grande section de vêtements et après la section des viandes. Il y avait une odeur très forte et tout ce qu’on voyait était très traumatisant: des têtes de cochons pendaient du plafond, les gens coupaient la viande sur des morceaux de cartons et il y avait aussi des mouches qui survolaient tous les morceaux. Il y avait même des jeunes ados qui coupaient les morceaux de viande, sans gants et ce n’était vraiment pas hygiénique. Cela m’a vraiment marqué car nous ne voyons pas ce genre de marché à Montréal.
One of our stops today was the hammock shop. From the outside it is a simple café, but it was so much more. As you enter the room, your first see this multicoloured hammock which seemed to extend for miles. Two bunnies, a cat and blenders powered by bicycles stood near the small jungle in the middle of the room, separating the café from the hammock shop. The man asked us to sit down so he could explain the backstory behind this business. He first described it as a special place, one that held a special place in his heart. 27% of the people in Nicaragua do not have jobs due to disabilities. He saw this as an issue that needed to be addressed and took immediate action. This man went on to explain how he created an industry for people who were deaf and blind without jobs. He was clueless in the field of hammock making, but the first couple tourists didn’t seem to mind the quality of the product due to the momentous destination of the profit. All of the money made goes to the education of these workers. They started off amateurs and now ship their hammocks to 37 countries. What was more inspiring was the way this man spoke. He wasn’t giving a generic speech made for tourists, he was speaking from the bottom of his heart. Beaming with pride, he told us about how they made a hammock for Pope Francis. The smile on his face as he got to share this safe-haven was something I will never forget. As I listened to him and his stories, I immediately knew what I wanted to accomplish in life. I want to be as passionate and as dedicated to a cause as he his. I want to wake up in the morning, thinking about how happy I am to start my day and change a life.
Today we had the chance to visit the cigar factory. It was a very interesting experience because not only did we learn about the history of cigars and the significance of them in their culture, we actually got the chance to make one ourselves. We learnt about the different types tobacco, how to roll them and about the process of making them. We also visited a church and climbed to the top, where we were able to see the whole city from above. We learnt about their architecture and discussed about the significance of the buildings we could see. The view was breathtaking and it got me excited to learn more about their culture.
Today, as we were walking, we passed by many homes and shops. The buildings each have very vibrant colours. As we walked by, we saw children helping their parents in the shops. The children’s ages ranged from 4-12 years old. It was shocking to see children so young helping out. The courtyard of these homes didn’t have any grass with a lot of garbage lying around. We are so lucky in Montreal to have clean backyards. Also, the most marking experience of the day was the state of the many animals in Granada. There was a large amount of stray dogs. The dogs were very malnourished and they looked very tired. As we walked around, many dogs were lying down and looked extremely sad. This hit really close to heart as I love dogs and to see so many abandoned on the streets was a real shock. In Montreal, we have multiple services such as the SPCA to help abandoned animals get the care they need and the nutrition required to be happy and healthy. I realized that I am extremely grateful for all the wonderful services Montreal offers for animals and how conscientious our society is about animal safety.