Thursday, September 02, 2010

Nephew Heads for Haiti

My nephew graduated from the U of O. Afterwards, he could not find a job. Rather than sit on his butt, he signed on for a year long adventure, that starts in Haiti. It's with his church and he'll be doing anything he's told to do. His first Haiti stint lasts three months. He'll be sleeping on a cot in a hospital hallway.

I went to watch him fly off last night, with his parents, out of Eugene.

My nephew is already a world traveller. He went to school here and there, including in Europe and in Australia. He's been more places than I have ever been or could go if I started now and went every month to some place far away and new.

The difference is this time he'll be working and not necessarily in the best of areas. He took his toolbelt, a few extra changes of clothing, not many and then he took food, because he was warned there isn't much food in Haiti.

He will get $500 a month, plus somewhere to sleep, wash his clothes, and one meal a day. That really isn't that bad. Some might think so, but that's not much less than I get a month and more than many in America get per month, especially now.

In other news, another plant shuttered in Millersburg, leaving 70 more people without work. The plant makes a type of product from wood used primarily in house building or other building. Reason cited for closure is the low to nonexistent demand for products used to build anything. Nobodies building in other words.

There have been so many shuttered big businesses in Albany and Millersburg in the last year it's hard to keep track anymore. Still open: convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, and clothing stores.

Wah Chang has scaled back but still employs and so does Frozen Foods, I think. So there are still some businesses going ok, at least.

But to hear of 70 more good wage jobs vanishing leaves a pit in my stomach, a queezy feeling that these closures cannot be ignored, that they are a canary dying and the death should be heeded, because worse things are coming our way.

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