Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Snake Lady, Chapter 3

Many of you will recall the ongoing saga of the poor widow in Yemen with a large snake in her courtyard just a few feet from the cave-like dwelling where she sleeps with her many children.

They got lots of suggestions for how to get rid of this snake, none of which were practical, mostly because they involved Rod going into this lady's house, which would do more harm than good in terms of cultural propriety and such.

My sis has a fund that she is dipping into to help the widows and children in this village. She is funding a breakfast program for the children and is venturing into the world of micro-loans and all that.

So she loaned the widow money to fix her wheelbarrow and to buy a supply of cookies and candy that she could peddle with her son. It was all official, with the lady's thumbprint for a signature on the document.

Of course this didn't resolve the snake issue but it helped to resolve the bigger issue, which was sheer survival.

For several weeks Becky didn't see her around, but her children reported that she was doing well. Things were looking up.

Then one day her son was peddling by himself and had the misfortune of pushing the wheelbarrow right by the village offices just when the officials were on a campaign to keep the sidewalks clear so people could actually walk there. They confiscated his wheelbarrow.

He was sure his mother would be terribly angry with him, so he took the day's money and took off for Tiazz, another city several hours away.

The widow somehow got her wheelbarrow back and now since her son isn't there to push it she loans it out for a dollar a day or something.

Meanwhile the snake got aggressive and for the first time bit one of the children--the youngest, a seven-year-old girl.

As Becky says, when the temperature gets below 80 degrees there they all pile on the sweaters, so this child was wearing about three sweaters and the snake got a mouthful of sweater instead of arm.

So they decided they simply have to leave, and found another place to rent, for $45 a month. This is more than they can possibly afford, and when the mom came by the clinic the other day, she hadn't eaten for two days.

I tell you, there are no quick fixes for people and situations like this.

Quote of the Day:
"You and Amy are almost impossible to tell apart on the phone."
--Paul, to Amy, when she answered the phone the other day. When she started laughing, he knew it wasn't me after all.


  1. Oh that is absolutely horrid!! It just seems like there HAS to be someone that could kill that snake! But Praise God..its bite was not fatal.

  2. Living with snakes myself this story fascinates me. I so hope & pray it has a good ending.

  3. quick fixes.

    Isn't that that a universal truth? Blessings on your sister!

  4. yeah mom i rember that time