In Which I Bring Food to People

So apparently it’s been almost a month since my last post. That’s a bit surprising. I hadn’t thought it was that long! At any rate, I really haven’t had a whole lot to write about. I’ve just been going on as normal, helping my aunt and uncle with things around the house, writing, etc. But today something exciting happened!

 

Today my uncle and I joined a group of people who were going to the local dump to bring food to the scavengers who live there. This was exciting both because I’ve been eager to go out and help people in some way, and because I’ve thought for years that it would be interesting to write a story about people who live in that sort of situation. Sadly, I did not get a chance to ask questions of any of the locals (though it’s doubtful that my Spanish would’ve been up to the task, anyway), because I was too busy handing out plates of spaghetti. But still, I think after ruminating for a little while that I may have some ideas, which might fit very well into the sci-fi universe that I’ve been developing off-and-on for the past few years.

 

Anyway, that’s getting a little off-topic. We got up early to prepare milk (big five gallon jugs of it, for the children and pregnant women) and medical supplies, and then went to a church, where we boarded a bus with several others who were also going to help feed people. There were maybe ten or fifteen of us, and then of course we had all the food and medicine, plus some clothing to hand out to those who needed it. It took us a little while to drive through the city, because big buses don’t exactly get anywhere fast in this town, but eventually we reached the dump. It was a rather forboding sight: the sky was grey today, and the dump is on a hill, so the first thing I saw was a collection of vultures circling over a grey ridge of land with clouds for a backdrop. Then as we came closer, I was able to make out piles of trash–though not as much as might be expected, from what I’ve been told, because apparently dumps in America are much fuller (I’ve never actually been to one before). This is because the people who live there live off the trash–they eat what they can find and scavenge any useful items. And so a large part of the trash was just the layer of plastic bags that virtually carpeted the ground. But before I actually saw any people, I saw cows. I was rather surprised by this, because I didn’t expect to see what amounted to a small herd of cows just wandering around the dump. I should think that people who have to live off trash would’ve killed and eaten them a long time ago, but I suppose they might belong to someone. What’s more puzzling is the large amount of dogs that are wandering around, and I have no idea why those don’t all end up in soup pots. It’s the animals I notice first: the people blend into the piles of trash, because their clothes are dirty and provide excellent camouflage. But eventually I do see the people. Many of them carry large bags, which they must be using for scavenging, and they’re dressed in a motley assortment of clothing, most notably a number of unusual hats that they wear as if they’re perfectly normal. When we parked the bus the people started to gather around.

 

And so for the next couple of hours–I’m not sure how long, but the time passed pretty quickly–we gave food, medicine, and clothing to the people of the dump. It was interesting to observe them; many of the children would try to trick us into giving them more food, while the adults would often barely look at us as we gave them their plates. People got much more excited when it was time to hand out clothes. That line sure formed in a flash! And so once everything was given, we got back into the bus and headed home. I was able to make a couple of friends during this trip, one of whom is a native Honduran who speaks only a little more English than I speak Spanish, and so that gave us both an excellent opportunity to practice each other’s languages. Overall, it was a very pleasant break from day to day life, and I’m quite glad that we had the opportunity to go.

 

I shall try not to let quite so much time pass between this post and the next. Peace!

 

~ Jared

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