Photos courtesy of Merlin Williams and Ken Merwin
What a joyous breakfast morning at Hatu Mikui soup kitchen! We were blessed with 63 elderly poor people to feed. Many of them walked a long distance to join us for breakfast. One of our volunteers prepared a special breakfast at home, ready to be heated on an open propane grill burner located in our future addition of a kitchen.
Breakfast sausage was donated by a local farmer who butchers his pork and chickens on a small scale and sells locally. All his products are hormone-free and free range. People were served a combination of sausage, eggs and potatoes made into a large casserole. A hot drink, roll and fruit were served.
This was a Christmas feast for these poor elderly, some living on the street and others in a small home without electric, running water or bathroom . Many bathe in the creeks or where they can find water – sometimes our temperatures are in the mid 40’s – brr.
Our volunteers decorated the large folding tables with donated plastic covers and some garlands to give a festive appearance. At the end of breakfast each person was given a Christmas bag filled with traditional cookies (similar to the US animal cookies) candy and a piece of chocolate. The bags were tied with ribbon, a small Christmas ornament and a dollar coin attached.
What smiling faces, hugs and tears of pure joy. Who knows when they last received a gift? Such gratitude from these poor people.
December 24th was another wonderful breakfast morning.
After a normal breakfast of a hard-boiled egg, roll, fruit and hot drink we had a special surprise. One of our volunteers made arrangements with our local Taco Bello restaurant to make 70 carry out boxes to be distributed for lunch on Christmas day. The boxes were filled with a soft shell taco, portion of rice and refried beans. It was boxed for 70 people with plastic utensils.
This was to be taken home for a Christmas meal, however; some of them started eating right after breakfast. They were so delighted and thankful, with many hugs. The extra meals were distributed by two of our volunteers who walked the street and gave to needy persons.
NOTE: Watch for our next feature story.
Real life stories from some of these elderly people living on the street, or in the woods. Some have a small home but no running water, bathroom or electric. A young Ecuadorian university student will be interviewing these people. She speaks Kichua, Spanish and English.
She will write about their life and how they ended up at such a poverty level. These are the forgotten elderly, some tossed out by family members who offer no support.
I just spoke to a woman having breakfast at our soup kitchen. She has 6 children, all who have moved away and offer no help. She is widowed and lives in a small house with no water, bathroom or cooking area. She bathes in the creek behind the house.
This is only one story.