Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"take IN the trash"

So after I enjoy a weekend of camping in the great outdoors, I typically come home and look forward to a refreshing, hot shower. And just like that, all of the smell, sweat, and germs are gone in a matter of no time.

Now compare that experience to this...

In Guatemala City, generations of families LIVE (literally, LIVE) in the city dump. Many of these Guatemalans never see life outside of the dump. They never get their shower and I doubt that thought even crosses their mind. No, they are worried about surviving another day. Another day in the garbage dump. To know that human beings live this way is shocking and terrifying and disturbing on so many different levels. I can only imagine the psychological effects this has on their lives. As outcasts even in their own city and culture, they most likely see themselves as trash. These Guatemalans who deserve to experience real, authentic joy and purpose in their lives from a God who sees them and knows them as irreplaceable TREASURE wake up to the sight of hundreds upon hundreds of vultures swarming over their heads in search of dead and rotting human flesh and animals to feast on. I can't imagine the types of things they use for a pillow at night... perhaps an old cereal box or a pile of sticky candy wrappers, whatever they can get a hold of for the night.

Tonight, I had the privilege of seeing the film, Reparando (http://www.reparandomovie.com/) at the Belcourt Theater here in Nashville. At the end of the film, audience members were told that we are now accountable for what we have seen. "You now know too much not to do something about it," we were informed.

And yes, now you are informed. Although hopefully, this is only the beginning as you and I both continue to research this unfortunate reality and begin to dream of potential solutions. And with a problem this enormous, it may take lots and lots of little solutions. But start dreaming...

Share this story. Share this knowledge because knowledge is power.

Here are a few facts to get you started...

  • 10,500 people live and work in the Guatemala City dump as a means for survival. 6,400 of them are children. (http://www.pottershouse.org.gt/statistics.html)
  • 53% of the children under age 13 that work in the dump do not attend school. 74% of teens between 13 and 18 that work in the dump do not attend school. (http://www.pottershouse.org.gt/statistics.html)
  • Malnutrition from childhood results short stature. Rats, snakes, roaches, ants and lice flourish in the garbage. Dogs and vultures compete with human beings for the food that enters the garbage. (http://www.pottershouse.org.gt/lifestyle.html)
  • Glue sniffing is also common problem among dump dwellers, as it gives a temporary high and deadens the smell of the dump. (http://dbooth.org/guat2000/small/day3_1.htm)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mint Tea Mistake

As much as I would love to claim that I am the utmost sophisticated and trendy latte lover, I am not. The truth is out. I am no tea drinker or coffee drinker nor have I ever been. Yes, I spend hours upon hours in coffee shops as many of you can attest to. But in the midst of my extended stay in the coffee shop choice of the day and the time comes for me to indulge, I do so with milk and a cookie. For whatever reason, this decision never fails to make the cashier laugh as they give me the same exact look I get so often when I sip out of my Spider Man water bottle... that look that says, "And.. how old are you?" Although, I must admit, earlier this week when I gave my usual order of a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk, the cashier smiled and said, "That sounds really good right now." (And yes, it was.)

Sadly, however, as the weather has transitioned into fall and the temperature has dropped here in the lovely Middle Tennesee, my throat has been itching like a fire ant invasion and my sinuses have most definitely seen better days. I am sure you all can relate.

So I gave in and bought myself a mint tea in hopes to cure my cold with its warmth and fresh mint-iness. I return to my seat, and am suddenly reminding myself of a shameless, disastrous child at her 3-year-old birthday party... you know, the fat kid who can't seem to wait for everyone to sing "Happy Birthday" before they dive face first into the massive ocean of icing. Yep, that's me.

Finally, after a few ridiculous minutes of continuously glancing impatiently at it as if it was scheming to run away, I finally pick it up to take my first sip, ready and thrilled to receive my long-awaited "cure".

...And.... half a second later, a waterfall of tea spills all over my body because of its terrifying and surprising burn. (This probably wouldn't be a surprise to the typical and yes, normal tea drinker.) No joke, my lips still cannot stop shaking. As a result, my sickness as well as the newly formed bumps on my tongue will persist and I will be in even more pain than I was before as my entire body recovers from this mint tea explosion.

Now I know why I never try this.