Archive for September 2010

Google your neighbors

September 18, 2010

An interesting phenomenon that we’ve noticed since living with our Nicaraguan host family is how much neighbors rely on one another. In the States, our tendency is to google something whenever we have a question such as: how much does a camera cost, how much would a taxi charge us to get from point a to point b, which bus route goes from here to there, and who won the latest baseball game. Instead of running to the computer like we’re used to in the States, our host mom runs out to the street to poll the neighbors.

I think this is a great example of how to be community for one another. In the States it’s so easy to get a constant stream of information fed to you through the internet and the media that you could go a whole day without talking to anyone but be super well informed of everything that’s going on in our world. Being “disconnected” in this way has been really great – it shows us that we don’t know everything, and that we must rely on the community around us for information and help.

The other night, we told our host mom that we wanted to go to the mall to see how much cameras cost here. Before we were done eating dinner she came back with a camera from a neighbor who would sell it to us for $95. Then, this morning when we were ready to leave in a taxi, she went out to ask her taxi driving neighbor how much the trip would cost 2 gringos. She ended up striking a deal with him and we got a ride plus the name and phone number of a safe taxi driver for future use.

So, my challenge to people living in the U.S. is to try asking your neighbors about something instead of relying on google. You might be surprised with the result!