Sustainable Social Help
I am try to figure out the word - Sustainable - for years, reminds me of trying to figure out what my girlfriend in college kept requesting,
- Andy, be more sensitive -
I am not sure still what all this means, however I can still reach for clarity. I was on a bus with I believe two well-intended men. One older and one more the MTV younger.
Whatever the case we traveled in this little air-conditioned, too night for comfort van from the airport to Antigua for 10 Dollars U.S.A. about a one hour trip.
I was quizzing the younger one, about how he got a sailboat on the river Dulce, and he was saying or explaining how he cashed in before the Dot-Com crash, with some web site called Mongo something.
Then the older man on the bus, after I introduced myself and the younger man in the seat behind me as we was having this ongoing conversation and seem strange or bad mannered to not at least acknowledge him. So we did the introduction thingy.
They asked me what I do, I said, I have a travel web site, I gossip and make enough money to chase girls all over the planet.
The older guy was going to a 20 plus dollar hotel.
The older going to a 65-dollar hotel and to his 35-foot yacht on the river dulce.
The both suddenly commented,
- You speak very good Spanish -
- I am a five year old; I spent five years in South America -
The older gentleman is trying to help the Guatemala people with some project called - Central America Solar --- blah blah I am not sure. However, he was explaining about a food cooker that works with solar to cook food. I said,
- I saw a thing like that in Tibet -
- It cost 125 U.S.A. in parts, and then the people make the cooker - That is not a sustainble price to pay.
What the goal or thought here is to stop them from cooking over a wood fire and getting lung type problems, plus conserve the trees, wood, environment.
My guess in hard dollars this is close to two months worth of money. They have more than this in terms of food, and barter, probably closer to 300 Dollars; however, the world only cares about paper money, not what they have.
The idea is to give them a gift, help they can sustain, something that you give them and leave. This does not seem to be sustainable, maybe a great NGO keep a job for and NGO person.
I personally am wondering, can I go to Nepal, find the same thingy, send to other countries for 15 dollars?
Some Doctors have realized that in some countries they manufacture hearing aids, medical products for one hundred times cheaper than sold in the USA, they want me to stop in factories and talk with them. Maybe there is way to help get these needed products cheaply into the USA.
Disparity or differences in money or cost of labor are a windfall.
I personally believe people like Guatemala, therefore they like to come and help on many save the planet projects. I was considering how this would be good for Niger, where there are very few trees, lots of sun, the do need to conserver the trees. Here in Guatemala there are trees everywhere, and in Niger, there are very few.
People like propane.
I go to Nepal and India in the next few months, I am going to search for one of them hot water or solar cooking stoves. However, people like propane, however there are places where they do not distribute or sell propane.
I went on the locals bus in a way the next day, stayed in the cheaper hotel; try my best to learn to talk the languages. Nothing can be taught, learned, or understood until you somehow live with the people. Talk their language, try to learn.
Living in the expensive hotels keeps me father away from people, I must always remember to stay close to the people in the country I came to visit.
The world is in great shape, however there is energy of people that want to work to help with some problems on the planet. Somehow there must be a formula where the persons trying to help the people, can take a class, be told, explain to them, be very careful who you wan to help. Why do people believe everyone needs help, it is annoying that people do not see smiles. I saw miserable people in the Caribbean, go there, they need help.
There is a problem in Guatemala with Alcohol, there is a problem with theft, robbery and the rich abusing the poor. But I see some rich people with smiles on their faces, that say hello in an Indiana, down on the farm, hick, not sophisticated way.
Sustainable Social Help
When I was in Nepal I bought some prescription medications. I have asthma and all-year hayfever, and am prescribed 5 different drugs, many of which i should get monthly.
In Nepal, I payed £3.30GBP for a month's supply of hayfever pills and an asthma inhaler. At home, I pay £13GBP for the same. £10 more back home, that's $15USD roughly.
I am thinking, maybe they are made by different people. So I read the labels (in English). No. The Inhaler is made in India but by Glaxo Smith-Klein, who operate in the UK. They have a huge research plant in my town... it's the second biggest industry in the town, and always has animal-rights types outside. (the other industry makes missiles, jets and satellites and so guess the crowd!)
So it's made for less there? or maybe they just charge rich countries mroe because they can pay more? or maybe our prices subsidise India? why not make them all in India?
I'm guessing it costs even more in other Western countries, as UK prescriptions are subsidised by the National Health Service, which is funded by taxes. Everyone grumbles about it, of course, but people don't realise how lucky they are! I know many American and European people who have been crippled by medical bills. there are only a very few circumstances that can happen in the UK... we are lucky, but people grumble. he he.
but i wonder why a global company like GSK charges different prices in different countries. It is good that the indians don't have to pay what I have to pay for medicines... they would probably die. But i'd like to ask their accountants how they do it. Especially when things like Sony stereos, Pringles and Haribo all cost the same.
I guess it is what the market will pay. I am in Guatemala now, the price to call the USA with a cell phone is about 20 cents per minute in the Caribbean it was 90 cents. Not much logic, just a different market.
Disparity in earning is a windfall for the western person.
A person can live nice, contribute money to the poorer countries and share.