Sunday, November 04, 2007

sardines and cooking oil

It never ceases to amaze me that things we take for granted here in America are so prized by new immigrants.

We went to help a Cuban woman, who had come to the US legally, through the Cuban lottery, with her husband and 2 children. He husband then abandoned her to marry another "older" woman with lots of money.

So she called the church for help.

We went to visit her. She apoligized for not speaking English well, but she spoke very well for someone who had only been here over a year. We discussed her troubles, gave her some phone numbers to call for help and gave her a box of groceries from the church pantry. You know, staples, and canned goods. As she looked through the box a big smile came across her face. There was a bottle of cooking oil. She hugged it to her. Her 7 year old son saw a can of sardines and jumped - literally and clapped his hands. The 6 year old daughter saw a box of frosted mini wheat cereal and rolled her eyes in anticipation of eating it.

I keep thinking of how greatful they were for something we might overlook in our own daily life, or something we might dismiss as "nothing good to eat."

As I prepared my own dinner this evening I cleared the counter of some gerrn pepper seeds - ready to toss them in the garbage. Then I remembered that family, and many others like them, who would hoard those seeds so they could grow plants for their own consumption next season.

And I wonder, what has America so uncaring.

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