Frank and his crew should be moving along -- let me phone him now --
Ok -- here is the quick update -- just spoke with Frank.
The regular Belize screw up -- politics -- posturing for dominance -- etc
-- is in full swing now.
Nemo is "requestin" that all "donations" go to their designated warehouses
from which they will direct further distribution for those in "need". And
as you have already heard (regarding the 10,000 loaves of bread) this is resulting in major
Frank is working with those Mennonites. They are Belizean Mennonites --
experts at working with the Belizean system.
They are not having any of it! They are still operating directly giving aid
to the villages.
It never stopped raining!! A big promotion Mexican relief mission got
totally bogged down with their exotic cross country equipment.
Mexico donated two helicopters for relief efforts -- but political
bickering about what goes where first is making that only partially
effective. In short words -- some villages get to much -- some get nothing!
They do not even know where a lot of the villages worse effected are!
The Mennonites have "translators" -- remember -- many of these people speak
only Kekchi Maya -- and are "networking" to find these villages. They also
have a small Cessna in the air always -- grid working the entire area to
spot more villages.
I have no doubts -- as I said before -- that every dollar that gets to
Frank and these Mennonites will do ten times more than money going to
official relief!! (and maybe 100 times more)
This is not like Keith.
The people needing help in the worse way are not concentrated at two easy
to reach locations -- but spread over an incredible wilderness.
Creeks are raging full force due to flooding conditions -- and can't be
crossed no ways.
I suggested the "sealed" lard buckets -- throwing lines and hauling across
Frank's group is concentrating on pure basics! Basic foods, pots -- cooking
utensils -- matches -- etc. Later they will diversify into building
supplies -- etc.
The situation is quite serious -- and every cent we can get to Frank and
the Mennonites is crucial to helping this situation.
They are staying independent from all organized relief efforts -- and
striking out directly -- using on the site information -- to villages
requiring the most help. And they know exactly what is of top priority at
this time -- food!
These are mostly to villages furthest into the jungles.
Supply will be by any means possible -- but short of helicopter drops -- it
will be humans back packing supplies in -- crossing raging creeks -- etc.
There you have it --
Suggest we continue to get as much of that cash as possible to Frank -- you stay there
and get more. In a week or so -- come down and we will check out how it
worked. Recording the events as best possible for future efforts along
these same lines.
Little by little we will learn how to Aid the people that need aid the most
-- and in time.
But as far as I can see right now -- Frank and the Mennonites are the best
-- and maybe only -- way to go.
Belize Central America
[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 10-12-2001).]