Tuesday, September 14, 2010

David's Eye-Opening Trip to the Dump

When we lived in the city of Gracias, we had trash pickup at our doorstep three times each week. We made it a point to take our usable but unwanted items and place them unbagged on the corner, whether or not it was trash day. These items would quickly be picked up and carried away. We were careful not to put out the bagged trash until we actually heard the trash truck coming. The trucks helpfully sound a siren as they pass through town, so everyone gets an early warning. If we put the trash out early, people would rip open and go through the trash bags, looking for usable items, and then we'd have a big mess to clean up.

Now that we live outside of the city, we have to handle our trash ourselves. We burn quite a bit of trash, but some just has to be carried to the dump. Generally we wait until we have enough for a large trailer load, and then either Allen or Russell drive the trash out of here.

The dump is on the other side of the city of Gracias from where we live. Recently, Russell was taking a load of trash to the dump, and he also wanted to take several members of the family into the city. Since he didn't want to drive around inside the city with the trailer full of trash, we all went to the dump first.

The dump is down a long dirt road from town. As we approached the dump, children started to run out of the nearby houses and yards, to meet us. Once we'd pulled in and stopped, they immediately began pulling the bags out of the trailer, and searching for "treasures." I imagine they expected our trash to be especially good, since we gringos are known for having more stuff, and for throwing away usable items, like empty tin cans (often used as baking pans here) and large plastic bottles like those in which cooking oil is sold (used for transporting and storing water).

David watched silently for a bit, as the children emptied the trailer and dug into the bags of our garbage. As they grabbed up items which had value to them, David began to grasp the situation. He turned to me and asked, "They're so poor, they want our garbage?"

We see a lot of poverty as we minister here, but I guess it impacts you more when you see people excited to get their hands on your very own garbage.


Randall and Rachel Beita said...

I know what that is like. It is so sad to see and makes you think about what you have, use and throw away.

Beth said...

Oh Trish
We are so rich and we don't even appreciate it most of the time! I think the enemy of our soul wants us to always concentrate on what we don't have instead of what we do. I am praying for a humbler heart of gratitude.
And Russell and Iris' house is so cute!

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this website...It is the Children of the Dump in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Lots of promotions to raise money and the owner of the Roma's restaurant (a gringo!!) brings all the kids to his place for pizza...follow the links and you will shed some tears looking at the joy these kids get by coming for the pizza party!!