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Shane Osborn on Welfare & Poverty

 


Impoverished people endure and work for a better future

In September 2000, I left on my fourth det [detachment posting abroad] of the year, part of the first VQ-1 crew in Manta on the coast of Ecuador. Our mission was signals intelligence in support of the local anti-drug effort.

It turned out to be a fascinating det. We were practically the only Americans in Manta. For most of us it was our first taste of the Third World, with the shocking contrast between the cramped shantytowns on the outskirts and the walled villas of the local elite inside the city.

Although some of the crew was saddened or repulsed by the widespread poverty, I saw things differently. The poverty was wrenching, but the people I mingled with in Manta relied heavily on their strong family bonds. Like the people I grew up with in South Dakota and Nebraska, they showed a lot of day-to-day courage and resourcefulness. They loved their children, worked hard, hoped for a better future, and endured.

We returned from South America just in time for Christmas.

Source: Born To Fly by Shane Osborn, p. 89-90 , Nov 13, 2001

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Page last updated: Aug 12, 2014