Day Two: Sex for Garbage
You never know quite what to expect when heading to the second-poorest country in the hemisphere -- Nicaragua is a close second to Haiti. It’s frustrating to see that a country with such natural beauty and so many natural resources has so many problems.
I flew in yesterday afternoon and I feel like it’s been nonstop ever since. When I say “I,” I mean me and my carry-on bag, minus one piece of checked luggage. After receiving assurance from a Senor Brooks that my bag would eventually turn up, I took my newly purchased DVD burner, freshly exchanged cordobas, and only set of undergarments and haggled for the best price on a ride to Hotel Los Robles.
I've traveled to five continents and it never ceases to amaze me how far you can get with smiling and pointing. Since I'm 6’6” I always do my best to sit in the front seats of the developing world’s taxis. I can’t help but talk to strangers now that I’ve long outgrown the fear of being lured into the backseats of vans driven by caped evildoers.
“Pan para el mundo esta un organasation para los personas con no comida.” I felt like a three-year-old boy trying to explain to my taxi driver, Juan, that “bread for the world is an organization for the peoples with no food.” And just as I gave up on translating the word hunger with furious hand motions, his car radio mocked me when the 80's classic “Hungry Eyes” came on.
We came a few days ahead of the film crew for Kimberly to work on newsletter pieces while I try to shoot photos, record audio for podcasts, and hopefully do some last-minute logistics for our Offering of Letters video shoot next week.
This morning’s meeting with CEPAD (Consejo De Iglesias Evangelicas Pro-Alianza Denominacional) Executive Director Damaris Albuquerque was fascinating. I’m so glad we recorded it for an upcoming podcast. After Kimberly and I each had a chance to interview her, she took us around the corner to the community radio station where we picked up some local music and recorded station IDs for later broadcast. Kimberly wisely suggested that I not use my Sábado Gigante radio guy voice for my radio spot…
Have you ever heard of people trading sex for garbage? In the La Chureca landfill just outside of Managua, children scavenge 100 acres of garbage for anything that can be sold for pennies. Sometimes girls have sex with the truck drivers who dump refuse at the landfill in exchange for bottles or aluminum cans -- instead of the 20 cents they might otherwise get. What can you even do with information like that? Seriously. Well, a good first step would be to write your senators and representative in Congress and let them know that you want them to make foreign assistance a priority.
Children from Los Quichos.
Residents of La Chureca scramble for garbage as a dump truck delivers to the landfill.
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