It’s 8:31 on the 18th of August.. Today we went to KM 21. Take a trip with me- KM 21 is a trash dump, a working trash dump. And people live there. Yes, they are not just camping out there, they live there. They make a living by recycling and they sort thru the trash and take what they want. The smell is indescribable- a mix of rotting things, vomit, and feces is the best way I can describe it. I was shocked as we drove in on our motocar at the sights of this place. There were tons of vultures on the trash that lines the road and there were pigs and dogs digging thru the trash.. it was horrific. There is only one source of water there and it is anything but clean. And the people use it to wash clothes, to bathe, and to drink… Coincidentally, a major problem there is diarrhea, oh and there are not bathrooms… there are just flies swarming everywhere and dogs with mange and dirty pigs that live with these people. We went there today to check up on some of the people that Cindy had been working with and also to hand out bibles and meet the people because Steph and I are hoping to go back and continue working there even after Cindy is gone. So, we met all the villagers and gave them Bibles. Many were excited to get them and a few seemed unimpressed. There are a few families in the village who don’t even speak Spanish, so communicating with them was a challenge, but Steph and I sat down with them and did get their names and they seemed happy to meet us. Most were very welcoming and it was rewarding just to see them smile as we introduced ourselves. And no one seemed too concerned today about my being white, so that was nice. I can’t really even tell you my feelings after that experience… I have such a burden to help them, but it almost seems impossible.. There is one young girl of 13 years who is 7 months pregnant… And she has received no prenatal care whatsoever. There is a clinic called La Posta and it is just down the road and they offer free care but she refuses to go. Cindy has tried to convince her multiple times to go, and she won’t. I am very concerned for her and the baby… but what can you do? That’s how I felt about a lot of this today- what can you do? These people seem content with what they are doing, its like they think that they could not do anything better. I wish so bad that I could just move them out of there and give them jobs somewhere besides a filthy, smelly dump. But I try to think, what would Jesus do? I think he would first minister to them where they are. I feel like we need to gain these peoples’ trust first before we try to help them. I mean, obviously they do need help, but I don’t want to just be another person that is there for a day to give them shots and meds and then leave. I want to develop a relationship with them so that they feel they can trust me. The problem is, Steph and I would both like to do this but we are both on the travel team which means we will not spend a lot of time at base or near KM 21. Hopefully we can let the other student missionaries know about this situation and maybe a team could try and start the project. I do hope that Steph and I can still go visit every once in a while tho…
After we got back we showered and had lunch. Then we had some time in the afternoon to chill. So, we went down the road to a little snack place that sells juices and these popsicles that everyone says are really good. Well, we tried the coconut popsicles that everyone talked about… we were less than impressed. Haha neither of us really like coconut to begin with and these were just not pleasing to the taste buds. But at least we tried it, it is all about the experience. We did however find that our kitty, Tito, did like the popsicles so we fed them to him. haha
This afternoon was fairly uneventful, we sat outside and had some time to ourselves which was nice, we both did some reading and such. Then it was our turn to make supper, so we decided we were going to make fried potatoes with onions. If you could see our kitchen you would understand why this was a harder task then it sounds. There are 2 knives in the whole place I think and they aren’t the sharpest, the potatoes are kept in a dirty plastic bin on the floor, the stove knobs are broken (as in they come out and can move to a hole with no knob) and you have to turn on the gas and light the stove with a candle. Oh, and I need to mention that our kitchen also houses a lively bunch of baby cockroaches. So, making supper was a bit of an adventure. We cut up our potatoes and found the dented frying pans to cook them in and as they were cooking we realized we needed to warm up the leftovers from lunch so we could have those too. Well the leftovers were rice and lentils. I don’t know if you have ever tried to warm up sticky white rice after it has been sitting out all afternoon, but it was not exactly easy. Basically the rice ended up being burned to the bottom of the pan and our potatoes were charred. Haha But, everyone was gracious and ate it with joy. Actually our potatoes really weren’t too bad, charred may have been an exaggeration Tomorrow we are making lunch so hopefully it will be better!
In case anyone thought being a missionary was easy and all fun and games- you are so wrong. There is so much more to it, and it is HARD. And I have just begun. I think this year holds a lot of experiences and I am excited to see what is to come.
Pray continually and be joyful always.
(oh, the little squares on all my blogs are supposed to be smilies.. haha :) )