PeruCrew
Friday, April 23, 2004
 
Read this It is a bit dated, the bill in question was already passed and signed unfortunately. But it briefly explains the major reasons why farm subsidies (in my own humble opinion) are a really bad idea. The reason I put this on my blog is because of its implications on global poverty.

UPDATE: Another article on subsidies. This time subsidized surgar from the EU (which is a far worse subsidizer then the US)

Another one on US cotton subsidies which are contributing to the poverty of 10 million Africans

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One week and counting till we move to Pucallpa. We are both a bit nervous and excited. We fly out next Saturday.

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We have been going out to the communities that Food for the Hungry (FH) works in once a week for the past 3 weeks. It has been a very good experience for us both. I have to admit that I tend to be naturally skeptical so I signed up with FH naturally skeptical. Let me say that every thing I have looked at here at FH Peru with skepticism has turned out to be completely legitimate and needed. For example, before I got down here I expected the offices to be larger and fancier then were really needed. Let me tell you, this is not the case. The office is very appropriate and modest. Secondly, when I saw that FH used a couple Toyota Land Cruisers I thought, "Why in the world do they need LandRovers? They work in an urban environment" The first week we drove out to the communities I immediately understood. The roads to some of the communities are so steep and rugged there is no way vans would make it up them. So all of this is very encouraging to me. It is nice to work for an organization that you believe in and that you believe is doing its work to the best of its ability honestly. I think all of this flows from the quality of staff and leadership.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004
 
It is good to know that Peru is not near the top in traffic deaths per capita. I have to admit that I am a bit surprised to learn that Peru is only marginally more dangerous then the United States.

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Today was the day of the bus. Very strange. First we got on a bus without a muffler heading into the FH office. It was deafening. The other feature of this particular bus was every once in awhile the door guy would grab a bucket of water and go open up the engine compartment and pour it into the radiator I assume. The second strange bus incident was a when we saw a Bus Hospital. It was a hospital made up of 4 rows of buses. Oncology was one bus, radiology another, etc... It was very creative. Finally, our ride back there were 23 people in a bus that was smaller than a normal 12 passenger van. I don't know how we all fit on the bus, but we did.

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New pictures up over at PeruCrew.com.

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Sunday, April 18, 2004
 
Crazy what you find when you search on Pucallpa on the net. Come to find out a UFO was spotted over Pucallpa last year.

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Thursday, April 15, 2004
 
Here is an article on my favorite Economist from Peru, Hernando de Soto (I have an autographed book of his, aren't I cool?)

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004
 
Great news on the computer front. My brother has secured enough computers to fully staff the computer lab in Pucallpa. Great news and a big answer to prayer! Thanks Jeff! Now the trick is getting them here.

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Friday, April 02, 2004
 
We went to the Peru vs. Columbia World cup qualifying match. Peru got beat 2-0 but it was very interesting. We were told that you needed to be at the game 3 hours early to get a seat. Interestingly enough there were no seats to be gotten. There are only concrete tiers that are used for seats. Apparently seats get thrashed. An empanada (like a small meat pie) was only 1 sole (30 cents). I had two because I could not believe I was getting something to eat at a sports event for less than a dollar.

The game was very interesting. Peru played really bad and everyone was pretty disgusted. We brought the 10 year old twins from the family we are living with and they had a great time because they both won soccer balls from a Coca-Cola promotion. Down here Coke is king and is about 50% more expensive then Pepsi.

But the most interesting thing was after the game I was interviewed by a Peruvian TV channel (watch for me after the tractor-pulls at 3am on ESPN8). I had NO idea what the guy was asking me and just answered what I figured he asked me which was pretty much correct. Apparently he asked me "How was the game?" to which I shook my head in a downcast manner and said "I don't know...I don't know what happened." Then he said, "Ladies and gentlemen we have a man here who is truly at a loss for words". That was it. Nobody has yet stopped me on the street and asked for my autograph so apparently I have not reached my goal of being a Latin icon just yet.

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