Thursday, November 12, 2009

Delivering the beans and rice

I've never had quite so much fun in PriceSmart (the El Salvador equivalent of Costco) - Pat and I went up and down the aisles, loading up three huge shopping carts with purified water, diapers and the basics - beans, rice, cornmeal, oil. Margaret Jane was cheering us on from her Spanish class in Suchitoto. All the purchases just barely fit into our old Toyota 4-runner. Then we delivered them to the Archdiocese, and these great guys unloaded the goods and took them to the storeroom where Dina, Margarita and Clelia from the Caritas-Pastoral Social office were sorting donations. They'll know where to put all those beans to best use.

Thanks to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and PeaceHealth for making this donation possible. I just wish it wasn't necessary: there are too many people homeless and grieving tonight in El Salvador. International aid has begun to arrive and the government is trying to respond to the needs that extend all the way from beans and rice and diapers for tonight to bridges and houses to rebuild over the next many months. To add to all these troubles, the enormous rainfall and flooding destroyed many crops, particularly the beans that were just being harvested and the second harvest of corn, so the prices of those staples are going to climb in the next few months. It's more than people here, already fragile, already stressed, can bear.

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