The Things They Carried | Las cosas que llevaron

by Kyle Warren, SAF Alumni 2009

Luis in Arkansas, Sweet Potato

“We don’t have anywhere else to go. You just have to make the best of a rough situation. It truly is the closest thing we can call home.”

Luis was living in the storage facility where his company would store the old sweet potatoes from last year’s harvest that were due to be cleaned out. His bed was about halfway down the one large “bedroom” where he slept with about 30 other workers. The grower’s crew leaders often got to use the old offices of the warehouse as their bedrooms located at the front of the storage facility. The rank smell of molding sweet potatoes lingered in the air as they rotted in their crates feet away from where Luis slept at night. He told us you just get used to the smell. What he never got used to were the occasional threats he might find lurking around his so called home. Many predators like snakes, scorpions, and spiders lived in the crates that were stored in the middle of the warehouse and they would often come out at night and make their way to where Luis and his coworkers slept. As of yet, Luis hadn’t been bitten or stung nor did he know anyone who was, but he was waiting for the day when someone would eventually get hurt.

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