Day One (Wednesday Morning)
It is such an experience taking part in the event that most people will not try to attend. I woke up in the morning and decided to take black tea to avoid spending so much in the early hours since the maximum amount per day was supposed to be $4. Taking in to account the other products that I use like cakes would have taken the expenses higher. So I took black tea with scorns which cost me less than $0.5.
After the tea taking I had to walk to the college since that was not far away from where I lived. I had to walk because if I took a cab that most of the time was the one that we used to hire would have also made me lack the money to use for dinner which I had no idea what was coming. The experience was good since it came from my inner self though it was tiring to make a trip to and from school without taking a cab. Later in the day I had to assume the cafeteria that we do use during the day and within the classes.
During lunch time I had to make sure that I used the minimum amount for my satisfaction. I paid $1.8 for the food that I took though it was just snacks since the real food would have cost more than I could afford. I had to walk again in the evening to home and plan myself where and how I could take supper and study later on. I used $2 to buy beans that I would boils to give a lot of them after they are cooked. That was what I took for my supper and continued to study for the exam.
Day Two (Tuesday)
Waking up in the morning for the second day was hopeful due to some less experience in the previous day. Though I had to also walk again to school for the daily school schedule, I was so tired because of the walk on Wednesday. Due to the future payment of electricity I decided to take a cold shower though I had in mind that this is the best way to help me get better from yesterday’s walk.
As usual I had to take some tea and scorns to help in staying active and satisfied in order to continue with the lessons without issue. During lunch time the beans that was available from last night’s food was the meal of the day form me. The reason I did this is to make sure that the amount I would have used in the lunch time would be used to buy a different kind of food at night. It was by far the best idea to make sure that I stayed healthy and planned my money in advance.
At night I took some more beans and added the flour for baking the simple baking that would allow me to get full my stomach full and to also make sure that I eat balanced diet. The rest of the money was used to buy some fruits that I had to limit the intake but at least the second day I used $3.7. This amount was least but I made sure that I used the best and got the required services though were not the premium one.
Day Three (Friday)
This is the last day of the week according to the school calendar as the weekend starts today. Due to so much tiresome I had to take a public means to the school which cost me $0.5. The reason I had to do so is because for the last two days I was in the verge of breaking due to simple lack of concentration in class and the lack of money to buy some extra produce like fruits and the morning cuisine like eggs. In as much as I had taken a public means to the college, the morning breakfast was the usual black tea but this time with bread that I had baked in the previous night.
At lunch time I had to go to the cafeteria and take some food that cost me around $2.6. This was somehow expensive but I had to do it due to lack since today I did not buy the scorns. With the current trend, I had to plan all this things in the morning before I took off to school. Because of the money that I spent during lunch time, I had to make sure that I walk to home. This time I was not feeling tired because for the last three days, this is the day that I took the car to school meaning less fatigue and the only days that I have taken an expensive meal of $2.6.
At night, there were some beans that were left out and I had to make some baking of a few pancakes and take it beans. It is a tough decision to be taking such meals but with the amount of money that I have to use I had to decide so. There were green vegetables that I would have liked to include in my diet but reality is that I had to be careful when planning to buy them for the money that I had would have been misappropriated.
Day Four (Saturday)
I do not go to school on Saturdays but I always had other plans of volunteering during the day. I am used to going to a local clinic to volunteer and gain some experience in the field. On this day I had taken a car to the clinic and spent about $0.7 to the clinic and from there. The best thing with Saturday is that meals are always part of the program since the volunteers are given tea at 10am and also lunch if they will still be there.
I took my tea as usual but I had to save from the daily scorns because I knew that there would be a cup of tea and two scorns that would be provided at in the clinic. The day was good and I attended to weekly chores that were in the programme without any health issue. Because the initial payment of the transportation was inclusive of the evening transit, I took the same public transportation to home.
This was the best day because most of the day’s expenditure was not from my pocket as I had to be given food from the clinic and that I was full. I decided to walk to the nearest grocery store and but some green vegetables and some fruits to compensate for the previous days that I was unable to buy due to the fact that money was a key issue in determining the shopping.
Day Five (Sunday)
The last day of the walk that was tough but hopefully the day that I will look back and see what has been happening in the life of those people who are living below poverty line. I am a church goer so I had to go to church on this day. I woke up early in the morning and took a cold shower to cut down on the cost that electricity takes in the shower. This has been the trend of late since Wednesday and I have realized that sometimes it’s about the persons schedule that he/she decides to do whatever they according to the strength of their pocket. After taking the usual tea and scorns I had to go to church.
Later on we met with the youths for a youth service that normally takes up to around 3 pm. By this time I was very hungry and went direct home by walking. The church is not far from the place where I live so there was no way I had to go by car transportation. At home there was some black tea that I took and later tried to at my books for the exam that was to start the following week.
At night I took vegetables and by the count of the days spending I had spent around $3.2 for everything and the vegetable that I took apart from the tea that I took. After the food I had to continue reading until 1pm where I went to sleep being ready for the next day’s exam.
Experiences When Going Through the Practice
When I decided to go through this experience, my expectations were that I may not do without the best type of foods that we take on a daily basis. Regardless of the fact that we avoid as Christians that there are people that need help, it is very crucial to understand that we all need help each other and more so doing the voluntary actions that will see the poor live a better life.
It was very uncomfortable to wake up in the morning and have to plan for the day’s expenditure including food and transportation with only $5 per day. It was also hard to see people eat and buy some expensive and healthy food and that I am unable to buy the same due to limitation of the amount of money I have. If this is what the poor people have to go through their life then they have a hard way of life and that we need to be our brother’s keepers according to what the bible states.
There are many poor people not only in the United States of America but throughout the world. I have noted of the girl that used to be quite in our class and people will assume that she is naturally quite. The truth of the matter is that sometimes she used to come to the class without taking anything in the morning and so she hard to be quite and isolated to avoid people noticing what was going through her mind. This is in turn the best lesson I have gained to ever not judge the person by his/her ability to buy anything. This is because if I was only trying to get the feeling of the people that go through this in daily life while I knew deep down that I don’t belong there, what about the person that is actually is in the same situation and has nothing to do about it? It is a challenging reality.
As the week went by I had to plan to use my money wisely because it is not available if I finish the one that I had. Sometimes the situations put us in the place that we have to decide between going to bed without eating and making ends meet by saving for the payment of the bills at home at the end of every month. By spending the money, I noticed that what I could buy was food as the first priority and pay for transportation from time to time. It is this basic life that is affordable in such situations and then best idea to choose what is to be bought and at what time.
During the experience, people had different reaction towards what I was doing without knowing that sometimes you need to be in the shoe of the person you want to understand in order to learn them. Some had ideas that I was getting mad due to my decision but a good number wanted to know what the result of my experience it would be, and how it will help shape my opinion towards the poor people in the society. The reaction had a positive impact in that I wanted to be of help to others. Not only to the poor but also the rich who had no idea that it is difficult to live as a marginalized community and more so without the ability to get extra finances.
There are various aspects of poverty that I learnt from the experience. One of them is that fact that sometimes it is hard to live without the knowledge of the health implications of what the poor eat. There are concerns that sometimes they buy what their money can afford regardless of their health implications. It is not about what one wants to buy but what they can buy. Another one is that failure in class and in life is due to lack of concentration due to lack of food and maybe because they may have walked a larger distance than they need which makes their brain become tired.
Poverty can sometime control the mind of someone and also make the image of that person be affected. It is difficult to walk in the streets knowing that for sure you have only one type of clothes and that it is hard to get other soon. This will affect the person’s social skills and most of the times the individual will tend to have an inferiority complex. When you have not eaten or maybe you ate what was there making your satisfaction be questioned you may also be agitated and take as if everyone is the cause of your misery. It is therefore a way of affecting the health of poor people.
According to Deuteronomy 15:11, we are supposed to be open-handed to our friends and neighbours in so many ways. We can do so by reaching the people we know are below the poverty line and help them with foods. We are also required to be part of the contributors to the hospital bills and voluntary services towards those that are unable to pay for various human services. If we can understand the people’s problems, then it is easy to come in and be part of the solution that will better the life of everyone.
This experience has impacted positive attitudes in me towards the hearts of the marginalized communities and poor families. It is through this that I have decided to treat everyone with respect because I have known what everyone goes through is different form our understanding. So the best way is to always ask people if they need our help if at all we are in a place that we can help. Due to this experience, I would recommend that this practice be carried out by several students so that they can appreciate the value of everyone without being judgemental. If we are in a place to understand the other people’s problem, we can come up with ways of ensuring that everyone is catered for. if for instance the future students would like to undertake this experience, I recommend that they are given full responsibility of their life to make sure that they fully depend on themselves. It would also be helpful if the number of days is increased so that the real hustle could be felt and appreciated.