I hadn’t been in contact with Emmanuel for a long time, so I haven’t posted for a long time. It turns out he’s had to learn some hard lessons in trusting where his food has come from. He contracted a fungus based infection that is somewhat common to south america, and spent a long time in hospital with fluid on his lungs being very close to death. I was definitely concerned for a long while when he disappeared off of the radar.
What is relevant to preppers is that the infection can be spread from contaminated water that is used to wash fresh vegetables. That indicates how at risk you can be with common foods that you wouldn’t think twice about. Everybody cooks their meat thoroughly but is everybody double checking fruit and vegetables they buy at market? If you can’t verify the source then the only safe option is to cook them thoroughly. It could legitimately cost you your life, which is why survival experts recommend taking the minimum number of risks possible at all times unlike (that idiot) Bear Grylls. Emmanuel almost died, luckily the health service was still functional if almost unaffordable.
So Emmanuel ended up back in the city because that’s where the hospital is and back in a world of no food. Which could have been worse as he still had a bag of rice. Except that then his long lost dad decided to show back up in his life and inject further disharmony into family affairs. Emmanuel told him it was better if he left and got a black eye in the process. His dad did leave though taking the last of the food and a bunch of clothes with him in the process. Emmanuel spent the next few days feeling dizzy from not eating properly in so long and then not eating at all. None of the neighbors would share any at that point, he had been sharing his neighbors cooking gas in exchange for them using his power bank he still had (not sold) during power outages but that didn’t make a difference. He didn’t make it into school like normal and it was just coming up to Christmas.
It all seemed insane to me, especially over Christmas and then I discovered they did have some family in Colombia hundreds of miles away but no way to afford the travel. They’d never considered going before because it was so far out of their price bracket, so I booked them on the bus and now they’re in Colombia with plenty of food. As interesting as it may be to get first hand experiences of living in a crisis that could happen to any of us, I can’t sit back and watch Emmanuel flirt with death/malnutrition. From here on in the posts will largely be an exercise in memory and not current events.
Emmanuel is not a statistic though, is looking in good shape and the next article is from him and then I’m going to discuss barter and the mythology of it. His mother is apparently getting on well with his family in Colombia and she is making enough money to survive on. He does still only have those broken shoes, and he left all his belongings behind so all he has now is some beat up cell phone that sometimes works. He’s trying to learn how to program with it so he has skills for the future. That’s probably another big lesson right there, whatever awful things you own and skills you lack you need to stay motivated and optimistic. Just keep on assessing what you can do and take small steps to do it. However don’t get stuck in the trap his mother was in, working a job that doesn’t pay anything afraid to give up a potential future pension. You need to be motivated but adapt to the environment at the same time and not continue doing things that aren’t working.