Column #169 Stop the Caterpillars!
August 4, 2004
Stop the Caterpillars!
PLEASE HELP NOW!!!
Children in Vietnam are being ATTACKED by caterpillars!!
YES, it’s amazing but true.
Billions of wiggly caterpillars have descended like a plague upon a remote village in Kon Tum province. In the small schoolhouse there dozens of very poor deaf and hearing impaired youngsters gather daily to study. Some of the little boys and girls are also mute.
And now they’re all frightened to death! It’s an incredible situation. They’re so poor. Their community has survived over the years thanks only to government subsidies and the support of generous friends from overseas. But now the children are having their fingers and toes gnawed by the disgusting worm-like insects.
What’s even WORSE is that they can’t hear them coming! And some of the children (those who are mute) can’t even cry out in fear. It’s a very serious situation.
I have just returned from an emergency visit to the village. I heard about the situation while I was throwing darts nearby in Hanoi. I just had to check it out.
It was unbelievable. The black, inch-long larvae are EVERYWHERE – dangling from the trees, crawling up the walls, slowly snaking across the desks in the schoolhouse.
But I have good news (though I need your help). The CHILDREN need your help!! There IS hope.
With friends in Vietnam I have devised a lifesaving plan!
We are going to USE the caterpillar invasion to HELP the small community lift themselves OUT OF POVERTY.
According to a report released only last September by the Vietnamese Ministry of Food, there may be an opportunity to parlay the current caterpillar crisis in Tom Kum into a major money making venture.
It is widely known that caterpillars, when properly sautéed with a touch of butter and garlic, take on the texture and taste of the shitake mushroom. In fine restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City “a side of caterpillar” goes for 30,000 dong (about $2). It’s most often ordered with the popular black Labrador entrée. At one busy café the combo sells out daily. It’s called the Number 3 (“Skippy and Worms”) and comes with a coconut fizz.
Anyway, here’s where YOU come in…
I urgently need funds to build caterpillar trapping devices. The kids – the ENTIRE Tom Kum community – are counting on you. In fact, they’re already doing their part to help…
As you read these words, the children are scouring the rolling fields which surround their idyllic village to collect unspent land mines. The children will then dissemble the ordinance and use the parts to build the traps.
But all this costs money! The children need rice to eat and juice to drink during their long, hot days in the field. They will need special glue and wire and small rivets to actually put the caterpillar traps together. Some of the children – the less careful ones – made also need major surgery.
Please, help me help the children of Vietnam.
For a donation of just $25 dollars we will be able to turn the tide of the caterpillar crisis to the advantage of all of the little disabled children of Kon Tum village.
For a contribution of $100 we will be able to send them books and pencils and other materials so they will be better equipped to learn in school.
If you can find it in your heart to send $250, we will be able to buy each child a collection of cartoon videos and a VCR. Of course, they won’t be able to actually use the videos. The village doesn’t have electricity.
And besides, the kids can’t hear!!
For a gift of $500 you will make it possible for me to return to Vietnam and continue to do my very best to help bring hope and opportunity to all the innocent children there. I will also be able to buy a lot of beer and throw more darts.
If you are unable to send a check at this time, I will certainly understand. It’s tough economic times.
If your circumstances are SO bad that you feel YOU might need my help, feel free give me a call anytime. I have excellent contacts in Vietnam. I can probably get you a good price for your dog.
From the Field,
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