My Popcorn Party in Cuzco, Peru
Susan and I were part of a team of medical and dental workers who had come to Peru to help the poor indigenous people in the mountains. We were in Cuzco during Easter weekend before we had to set off to our designated work place.
As part of the Easter religious celebration, there was a big parade. It was very long and solemn and depicted the death of Jesus. The procession snaked through the city very slowly and reverently as mourners remembered the sacrifice of the Savior with slow drum beats and music.
We were determined to see the parade and decided to pick a spot on the parade route on the huge steps outside the Catholic Cathedral. The steps were almost like bleachers and overlooked the main town square. We were not sure how soon the parade would get to our spot but many locals were gathering in this area.
We waited and waited. Nothing even looked like the procession was coming. A mother with a little boy and girl carried a big basket to a place where we were sitting. The big basket was filled with sacks of popcorn. The little boy and girl started going up and down the street selling the popcorn. I noticed that they did not have much success. There was about 8 in our group so I thought that it would be nice to just go down and buy 8 bags of popcorn. When I got to the big basket I saw that they had about 40 bags.
I asked the little boy how much a bag of popcorn cost and I think it was like 50 cents. I then asked how much it would be to buy the whole basket! He did not understand what I was asking. I thought how fun it would be to buy the whole basket and then give it out to the people sitting on the bleachers.
One of our group spoke Spanish and so she asked the little boy. He ran and got his mom and we negotiated a price for the whole basket. It was like $20. I started giving the popcorn away to the children that were around us. They loved it!
As soon as I paid the mom the $20, the little boy took off on a dead run to somewhere. We couldn’t figure out where he had gone. He was all smiles. After 10 minutes I realized why he ran so fast. He returned with another big basket full of bags of popcorn! He was one sharp little business man. When he saw that he was sold out of product he immediately took off for more.
As the little girl and mom handed out the free popcorn, the audience of children in the bleachers literally mobbed them. I tried to control the give away but was rather unsuccessful. I was totally pleased with the results in that the little family were successful in selling their popcorn. That was the best $20 I have ever spent!
Jan. 27, 2015
The first week of January we were in Senahu, Guatemala. We went specifically at this time so we could be at the Incaperina distribution to the 100 mothers that came this month.
I sat right beside Yvonne as she checked each child, noting weight gain or loss and looking at each child carefully to see signs of progress or illness. Careful, detailed information is kept on each child and Yvonne would tell me a little about each. A child was brought to our table for examination. Yvonne explained that the mother of the child had died in child birth and this was the 14 year-old sister who was now taking care of the family of 7. The child was crying and sick looking. According to the weigh-in, he had not gained weight but had lost 1 kilo. As we examined Ronaldi closer, we felt that he had a fever and his eyes were watery and not normal. Yvonne made the decision that this little boy needed immediate medical care. We ran to find Gordon so that he could transport the baby and sister to the nearest medical facility which was an hour and a half down the mountain at LaTinta.
At the “hospital” Gordon made sure that the child was seen quickly. The doctor checked the baby and determined that there were many issues that needed attention, including sepsis, severe malnutrition, herpes of the mouth and dehydration. He was immediately started on an IV. The sister and baby were left at the hospital.
The next day Gordon and Yvonne went again to the hospital to see how the baby was doing and also to make preparation for the sister to have food and a place to stay. The doctor approached Yvonne and in a scolding manner said, “You have got to get these babies to us sooner! If this child had come in even 2 hours later, I don’t know that we could have saved him.”
We checked in on the child every day. Even after we had come home, we checked with Yvonne on his progress. We prayed for him every day and asked that our family pray for little Ronaldi in Guatemala.
Today we received an email from Yvonne with news of Ronaldi’s recovery. He was being released from the hospital after 3 weeks. The photo showed a cute little boy with a huge smile on his face. He looked strong and better.
I know that had his sister not brought him to the Incaperina distribution that day…and had Yvonne not been alert to the child’s condition…and had Gordon not been ready and available to IMMEDIATELY take the child to the hospital, this child would not have survived. We know that there was a miracle that took place that day. A miracle to save a life in the mountains of Guatemala.
These are the dates we meet with the mothers and babies in Senahu and give them a 2 months supply of Incaperina.
For those thinking of going down, it would be good to have them go on these dates to help.
- Family photos in a developing country. Take a printer with the scout. Print photo in evening after the family photo. Have troop make picture frames for photos. Deliver to family in frame.
- Gather baseball equipment, uniforms, hats, gloves, etc. Deliver to Dominicun republic
- Gather quilts. Make Quilts.
- Gather vitamins and bag in zip loc bags 30 to the bag.
- Make hygiene kits.
- Gather Spanish books for poor Mexican school libraries.
- Make school kits.
- Gather used eyeglasses, clean, grade and wrap for future trips to developing countries.
- Gather used shoes. Clean, grade, and categorize for future trips to developing countries.
- Gather English books for Southern Indian reservation school libraries in Utah.
- Make newborn kits.
- Gather soccer balls, uniforms, goalie gloves, nets.