March 21, 2013 “Outhouses”

You can learn a lot about a man’s outhouse.  Some have interesting holes carved in them to look like a star or a moon.  The one I had growing up had interesting cartoons and pictures tacked to the wall.  Some have fancy seats others are just holes.  My mother got locked in one, and I was attacked by one once but those are stories for another day.  This one in Honduras even had its own unique flushing system, which made me not necessarily want to swim at the beach a few hundred yards away.

On the hole (bad pun), I like outhouses.  They are a part of a by-gone era.  A part of the past that in fifty years may not be around then.

I just got back from Honduras where I spent my 47 birthday.  Honduras was a land divided, divided historically between Standard and United Fruit companies, (Dole and Chiquita).  Due to this odd relationship and apparently our insatiable need for cheap bananas, this is a land that has been historically screwed up.  There have been military dictators, outstings, CIA involvement, we invaded it once officially, and many times unofficially.  The place is corrupt, unsafe, a drug smuggling way spot, a human trafficing waystop, and for what ……….bananas?

This is not the only country in Central America we have corrupted….Guatemala and El Salvador have also been ruined by “Big Fruit.”

When I travel abroad, we realize that America is not the big savior some times our media would like to make us beleive.  For some reason, keeping these Hondurans in perpetual poverty is to our benefit or at least to Dole Foods benefit.  When a country like Nicaragua decides to kick out the fruit companies, we say they are communist.  Now under Castro, everyone in Cuba was made the same, poor, but at least they weren’t being exploited by United Fruit.  Who is better off the Honduran or the Cuban?  Pretty much of a toss up.

There is something radically wrong with big business democracy, just as there is with true socialism but what is the answer?

We give aid to these countries, millions to Honduras and where does that go?  The leaders build better houses and they take the roofing from the old leaders house and use it to build outhouses on docks.  The governor of the province has an expensive Mercedes but the roads are terrible.  We drove past a gas station build with American money that never opened.  Third world aid is the biggest waste of money ever.

Maybe the answer is in better outhouses as maybe we should just start there, water and plumbing.  Many of us go to these countries for short term mission work and after doing it, at least we feel good about ourselves but whether a week in Guatemala or Honduras really helps but I’m not so sure.  These places are already Catholic so if they get baptised and become Baptist and ‘saved’ are they any better off?  Easy to be living well as a missionary in the third world.  This is a much bigger discussion than what I want to discuss in this forum.

The next new things for Honduras?  Cruise ships!  Nothing ruins an island more than cruise ships.  They are exploiters just like the fruit companies.  I dont know what to do.  Maybe I just wont eat Dole and Chiquita bananas or pineapples.  Nuts, sour grapes, yea all of that, it is just fruity.

We complain about big oil, but big fruit, big sugar, and the devils of the deep blue seas, the cruise ship people are just as bad, even worse.  Big religion? They are all in the sh$thouse in my opinion.  Oh well, not everyone can have it all.

Keep your eyes open youy may be surprised at what you see!

Olaf

2 thoughts on “March 21, 2013 “Outhouses”

  1. Olaf,
    Unfortunately, nothing new here. The ‘west’ does not have a good track record with exploitation… (Neither does anyone else, though.)

    This sort of business practice dates back to the Dutch East India Company (early 1600′s). They thought nothing of wiping out entire populations in the pursuit of profit. For the last few decades, big business effects on indigenous populations has been more like collateral damage instead of malicious intent.

    As for foreign aid, I’m with you on that one. Boots on the ground to deliver assistance for some specific purpose might be worthwhile, but cash just evaporates. Our own governments – relatively non-corrupt – leak tax dollars, usually through stupidity or for political advantage. Who in their right mind would ever think sending cash to third world countries would benefit anyone except those already in control?

    Oh, and sorry about the birthday. ;-)
    (old age is still better than the alternative, though…)

  2. Whether one is mega rich, fairly wealthy, or have a few extra dollars, I have found that most people can rationalize with great clarity why they need to keep their money and not share it with others. I also think life is cyclic. The rich will continue to leverage other peoples money until there is no one left to leverage. Eventually they will have to spend their own and the cycle begins again.

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