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The 1,000,000 Banana Give-Away

December 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

How long would it take to eat 800,000 bananas?

How long would it take to eat 1,000,000 bananas?

 We received access to 1,000,000 bananas (and one container was stolen)  thanks to the Chiquita Banana Company; the program is managed by the Rotary Club.  Each container has 96,000 bananas, packed in 45 pound boxes – about 900 boxes for a total of 40,000 pounds.

One container was stolen – someone intercepted the tractor trailer and convinced the driver to unload 40,000 pounds of bananas at a nearby warehouse.  The driver simply backed up and started to unload – I guess he was glad to get unloaded and didn’t check the address.  Or perhaps he was threatened or bribed… we don’t know.

But Chiquita was super-understanding and gracious and sent a replacement container of bananas the next day!!

children-pickup-bananas1So far, we have distributed almost 400,000 bananas to the villagers where we have our clinic and through many other missions with whom we work, in  a sort of mission network.  

The bananas have been distributed to many feeding centers, in the poorest areas of Guatemala – thousands of children received bananas to take home to their families, too.  Other missions have given bananas to poor families in their areas, including the roughest, toughest and poorest areas of Guatemala City.

More than 4,000 poor families have already received bananas!

 To read all blog posts and news go <here>

Crippled by Bus

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Father handicapped. Mother sells firewood to survive.

Father handicapped. Mother sells firewood to survive.

 

This family might qualify as perhaps the poorest family we’ve met.  The father was a “helper” on a bus, but fell off and was run over. He did not receive any compensation for the accident, and has endured 8 operations. He can’t walk at all, and due to nerve damage, he can’t speak, either. They have 5 children and no source of income.

The father can’t work and the 16 yr-old son can’t find any jobs to do on a steady basis.  
           So the mother buys firewood in bulk, delivered to her shack. Then she and her son chop it in smaller pieces and re-bundle the wood in smaller bundles for resell to the villagers. After working hard all day, she only  makes about $2.
       We visited recently to drop off  some rice, protein milk and beans and it was so sad to see that they have no other food than simple tortillas, with no meat, no vegetables, no sauce… no money for even a little salt.  The only corn they have is what they scavenge from the fields after harvest… the tiny little cobs that the owner didn’t think were worth harvesting.

    Sadly, the daughter got pregant, and her baby was stillborn. But the ordeal was made more horrible by the fact that the hospital didn’t want to admit her, and, then the doctors there didn’t do anything the first two days. The baby had been dead six days before the hospital took any action.  Greg wore his suit and went to see the doctors. With our intervention she did get care, but the situation was of course still sad.

I took this photo the day we brought the family back from the hospital, so they look a little solemn, but there isn’t much to smile about in their life anyway.

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