A very good thing everybody should do.

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Apr 30th, 2012, 12:35 PM
  #1
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A very good thing everybody should do.

"On most days, we had boxed lunches that we brought with us on our game drives. That way, we didn't have to go all the way back to the lodge for a hot meal. There were bananas, eggs, sandwiches, chips, nuts, more snacks, drinks...and much more. Two of us could have shared a box, and there still would have been plenty of food! So, every day, we were tossing a lot of food.
On Day 3, we started collecting all the food that nobody had eaten, and put it all in one box. Our guide then looked for someone to give the box of food too. Often, he gave it to the person who was working at the rest stop. One time, he gave it to a group of construction workers on the side of the road. It was heartbreaking, because they fought over it.
If we were to go again, we would have saved the food from our boxed lunches sooner so that we could give it away -- not just waste what we didn't eat."

This quote was from another Fodor's trip report. Very important to remember!!
So true for all of us. We waste so much food but there are people who could use it, need it. I have seen what it means to others when we give them the food we would throw away. Not just in Africa but in South America, Asia, etc. We often do not know, or feel uncomfortable, doing this. Having your guide do it for you is a great suggestion. In fact, just do it...and I will remember to do it as well.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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When we did a visit with the Hadzabe, we had boxed breakfasts along with us. We had more food than we needed, so we shared the food with our Datoga guide and the Hadzabe. I wish we could convince the camps and lodges that we really don't need as much food as they provide. Come to think of it, I wish we could convince American restaurants of the same thing!
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Apr 30th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Spread it around! I agree.
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May 3rd, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Wow, what did those people do before tourists went nosing around their proud villages leaving them left overs to feed on?
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May 3rd, 2012, 11:54 AM
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In our current expat location, we frequently go out the company-owned boats to fish, whale watch, hang out, whatever. They always provide food and drink - and always more than we can consume. We generally stop at a beach restaurant for lunch, so we give the food provided to the boat crew. As for the fish we catch, we usually keep 1 or 2, give 1 big one to our driver, and give the rest to the boat crew. Always very much appreciated.
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May 4th, 2012, 05:15 AM
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Mkhonzo, I take it you've never been to a Hadzabe "village". They were more than happy to have the fruit we offered. Some of the children were obviously ill, so every little bit helped, I think.
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May 4th, 2012, 09:09 AM
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I am a proud African and have associated with more than just a few tribes along the tourist path.
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May 4th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Give the food to people who need it...if the proud villagers do not..then give it to others. I don't think the people who earn their living cleaning the safari rest stops get paid so much they would not like the box lunches or maybe they know people who would like it. Right here in NYC there are many who would be happy to get nice free food. Plus it is good to give the extra bottles of unopened water.
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May 4th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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Even in the West there are people who go hungry and need food that many of us toss. Especially so are restaurants that dispose of so much. For awhile restaurants here in NYC (and I'm sure other cities) did save food for distribution until the legality of 'what if someone gets ill' was the next question... leave it to the lawyers to get involved, but not to fret.

Eventually it was determined a safe way to retrieve these good edibles (i.e., the salmon was too well-done and patron returned to the kitchen... nothing wrong with it, but the customer is always right)... so into a plastic bag, properly frozen and at the end of the day all such - food, sauces, dessert, breads - are collected for distribution to those in need.

Maybe such a legal and safe way can't/won't be done in some countries we visit where the need it great, but it's well worth doing regardless where those of us who can, 'just do it.'
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May 5th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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Mkhonzo, I know you are and you have. I don't think your snarky comment was appropriate, however. I'll continue to share with others, be it tomatoes from my garden or an apple from my breakfast box. I wouldn't consider either recipient a lesser person than me. The Hadzabe were kind enough to share their lifestyle with us and that was appreciated. There wasn't much we had with us that we could give them as gifts, other than some of our food.
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May 5th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Our lunchbox giveaways were always accepted with dignity, whether it was the 1st day (maybe just the juicebox) or the last day(by this time its ALL be given away). I would add that its better to finish half of the items, rather than half of each item. That way food isnt wasted, or you dont have to worry someone has dumster dived for your half eaten sandwich
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May 5th, 2012, 11:41 AM
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And so all you good giving people where do you draw your line? Do you give the bushman sandwiches because they eat grasshoppers?
What happens when your economy tanks and you no longer have the income to visit these far away people who have become dependent on your generosity? How do you help them when their teeth rot because they can't or don't brush or are unaccustomed to eating the sugars that you have fed them? You share because it make YOU feel satisfied, it is YOUR fullfilment and sense of self worth that you are justifying by your action. Snarky comment or not I am tired of travelers seeing people who aren't of their material worth as lesser beings!

Dis al!
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May 5th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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I love gifts of food that make a change from my regular diet. I'm thrilled to receive Korean, Filipino and Eritrean leftovers from parties. Why would the locals in another location be any different? What do you think happens to me on days when there are no treats?
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May 5th, 2012, 11:47 PM
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mkhonzo you need to get a grip!
It's got nothing to do with "YOUR fullfilment and sense of self worth that you are justifying by your action"
People all over the world share excess amounts of food with others.
Until we cut down on our lunch boxes, which you'll no doubt criticise on, we always gave our extras to our driver who gladly took it to share with other drivers.
I think he would have been horrified to see us throw away perfectly good food.
A bakery local to where I live was throwing away stock at the end of each day until I mentioned a local soup kitchen would take it.
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May 6th, 2012, 04:49 AM
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mkhonzo,
You clearly feel strongly about this, and feel lunchbox giveaways are having a negative impact on Bushmen. Do you feel this way about all tribes, or just Bushmen? Do you object to the whole box (ex)chicken sandwich, nuts, crackers, hard boiled egg, apple, cookie, juicebox and water ..or..Do you object to just the juice and cookie?

In what other ways to you feel tourist/tribal interaction is negative? or toxic? & why
In particular the village visits where some receive quite a bit of support from tourists
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May 6th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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... and for all we know the locals graciously accept our lunchboxes, partake pf what they wish and toss the rest! I have to believe that after all these years, they've figured out what is good for them and what isn't.

Like most things... you offer and it's either accepted or not!
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May 6th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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I leave all of the clothes and shoes I no longer need, unused personal hygiene products and water carrier (we buy a big jug from Oasis Water - our guide was thrilled to have it) at our last camp, along with a note. Should I not do that? I've never had the opportunity to share my uneaten food, but gave the guys at the car wash (long story) some chips and a cooler. I also over tip. Since finding out that some guides don't have access to cameras of their own, I have gotten people to "donate" their old, perfectly good, cameras for us to give away, along with a memory card. If they want (or need) to sell them, that's ok by me.

I don't think any of the above are in any way insulting. We almost left alcohol once and realized that may be inappropriate, so we dumped it. We should have given it to the manager to add to the bar. We invited our driver once to come with us to a museum, on us. He was very gracious to accept and made our visit so much more memorable.
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