Here´s what I bought:
- 1 dog crate for Taza
- 3 lbs each: almonds, walnuts, pecans (the latter not being available in Pucallpa)
- 1 lb cashews!! (haven´t seen these for 18 months)
- 1 pair of doggie nail clippers and one brush
- 2 huge rolls of plastic for wrapping furniture
- 2 foam crib mattresses and 1 "Moses" mattress (dog beds)
- 1 used fridge, almost (buying it in the morning)
- 325 medical thingies-- an assortment of syringes and needles
- 4 veterinary medicines, bought wholesale at the lab
Our housekeeper is the Puerto Supe amateur veterinarian (eek) and is going to try to expand her business when we leave. We told her we would look into wholesale prices in Lima. She showed us the medicines she uses, and they happened to have an address and phone number right on them! We went to work this morning, but the address was a no-go. Tim called from a phone place and ended up talking to the owner of the laboratory. He gave us the new address and we were off.
When we arrived at the address, it was basically a huge closed garage door in an industrial zone. We rang the bell and someone poked his head out. It´s a good thing we had already spoken to the manager and could throw out his name. I´m pretty sure they wouldn´t have let us in otherwise. As we made our way through the building, I realized that there was no logo anywhere, nothing on sale, no indication that this was any kind of company. Clearly they weren´t expecting clients.
As it turns out, the lab just sells to distributors, and you have to buy nearly $2,000 of products to be a distributor. Not in our budget. We talked more with this super friendly owner, and quickly move into a friendship of sorts, which is the basis for all Peruvian business. He gave us a tour, we oohed and aahed over his high class products and quality lab, and before long we were talking about his grandchildren.
By the end of the meeting, we left with a decent supply of veterinary products bought at super super low prices. We were able to cut out two middle men (the distributor and the local supply store) and buy straight from our new friend. There was even a hint that in the future, he might consider letting our housekeeper do the same.
To me, it was a miracle. I left with a clear sense that God was blessing our steps and paving the way for good things in the future, too. The whole episode was completely extra-ordinary and absolutely beautiful.
This is the kind of work that we wanted to do all along-- networking for the benefit of others, helping people with initial investments on business ventures, financing their own ideas for microenterprises, etc. I´m pretty sure Tim´s pale eyes, skin, and hair helped the whole deal. He´s a pretty curious site around here. Who wouldn´t want to talk to him?!
This is a remarkable gift to us as we close our ministry in Puerto Supe. I think it will make a difference for the long haul. If you pray, keep our housekeeper in your prayers. She´s a second generation single mom with a lot of creativity, an amazing work ethic, and a new faith that is changing her life.