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Experience talks- we went thru this with Roatan #9522
10/10/00 11:45 AM
10/10/00 11:45 AM

Anonymous OP
Anonymous OP
Two years ago, Betsy and I started a relief effort for
Roatan, Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. We
made a major effort in our home town of Port Aransas and the
nearby city of Corpus Christi, Texas. Via newspapers,
television, the Internet, word of mouth and speaking at
business clubs, we quickly raised about $20,000 and an equal
amount in food and construction supplies, and medicine and
medical supplies. We called major wholesalers of food and
lumber in Fort Lauderdale and arranged for them to purchase
food and lumber and load it in containers which were
delivered to Hyde shipping. Hyde transported it free to
Roatan (after a delay of several months). Then we had a
terrible time getting it out of the customs area and to the
people. We finally got an American missionary nurse to
spring the stuff and get it delivered. The mayors and the
governor whom we knew personally just would not get moving.
We had a lot of worry about it getting into the wrong hands.
Even then the roofing material was scarfed up by the
government, but it was used on a big school and the
hospital, so that was O.K. Mostly the culture is, that if
it is not for me or mine, I am not going to waste my time
for the poor people who really need it.

If we were ever to do something like that again, we would
raise ONLY MONEY and the fly down and write checks. Sending
stuff is an amazing pain in the ass. Tons of clothes were
donated, which ended up rotting in a warehouse up here.

The response on the U.S. end was amazing with private
donations up to $500 and $1000 and money coming from far
away with people just trusting us. An amazing elderly
gentleman who owned a small trucking company gave up his
Thanksgiving WEEK with his family and towed a huge trailer
with 20 pallets on it all the way to Miami from South Texas
by himself, with a very old and beat up truck, all at his
expense. Other people boxed, palletized and packed goods.
It was non-stop work for weeks, then at the destination, no
one in power gave a shit. We should have expected that,
after living there for 17 years, but I guess we have been
conditioned differently.

Your experiences are no surprise. Take money down and hand
it out personally. Several small houses were finally built
with the construction materials by U.S. missionaries, while
the locals watched. The food was distributed where it was

Oh, yeah. Not one word of thanks ever came back even though
the source of the donations was on every singe package.
Strange system.

Re: Experience talks- we went thru this with Roatan #9523
10/10/00 03:15 PM
10/10/00 03:15 PM

Anonymous OP
Anonymous OP

Your story is really a story that is bound to be repeated. But why?

It is sick and disgusting when people have that attitude "if it ain't for me, I don't give a f--k about it." It appears to me from reading the postings here that it is a similar situation in Belize. A democratic government is an authority madated by the people to work on their behalf and in their best interest. So what if some old "code" says that such and such must be done according to so and so? The people are the SUPREME AUTHORITY not the PUP Administration and not even the Constitution. The Constitution of Belize was not created of itself...unfortunately, ours was done by some screw-face and by the British. So I guess that is why we behave alien to it.

Will the people learn from all of this? I doubt it. The people are ignorant and will remain so until the port city boys are overthrown. In there somewhere there is fat cat licking the grease and does not want to be disturb SO KEEP THE PEOPLE IGNORANT ABOUT CIVICS AND POLITICS! Blind people can be led to their grave without knowing so; or to starvation and homelessness in the case of the Belizean people.

Democracy would be helpful in the relief efforts if it was truly a government of the people, for the people and by the people AND if the people understood what democracy means. But the blame must not all go to the "bad" people because if there were enough "good" people willing to make a change this would not be happening. We continue year after allow political appointees be appointed to important government agencies who have no idea as to what planning and management means. People are appointed who are improperly educated and improperly trained to manage vital agencies. People who have no ideas or goals as to be effective and efficient hold vast executive discretion over the matters of life and death of the people. ALL this results from political favouritism and narrow-mindedness! ALL of this results from kiss-ass favours and from to-hell-with-your-qualification, just know a minister! AND, we keep electing dumb-ass ministers to government because it works that way for some of! ! us. We need to clean this mess up and do it quickly....

Richard, I am truly sorry that your efforts involved so much sacrifice but ended with disregard.

People with willing hearts and hands give of themselves but those are the ones we always fail to appreciate.



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