Chernobyl, where art thou?

Cameron Stewart ’18

First question. Why the title? Well on the first two days of our internship we had our orientation and BAM! We get right into immersing ourselves into the community outside of the Gettysburg area. I will go into more details about the title later in the blog.

Our first stop was an orchid farm. We got to see the wide variety of fruits grown and the land it is grown in. It was amazing to me that just on our doorstep there are thousands of fruit trees/plants, yet the ability for some people to gain access to these healthy foods is still surprisingly difficult.
How is it that we can have hundreds and thousands of apples grown but some individuals and families still cannot afford to purchase these goods? You’d think things produced in an excessive volume would mean it could be readily available to any, and everyone at a cheap cost… apparently not. We had a brief stop at the RICE factory a few miles north of Gettysburg and we got to explore and see, first hand, how everything is processed once the apples came in off of the orchids.

The real interesting thing I wanted to discuss was the labor work camps scattered amongst the various orchids north of Gettysburg. I had NO IDEA these existed or were even this close to me. It really opened my eyes up to these issues facing migrant workers. They work all day on the farms, making peanuts for a wage, and then go home to some extremely poor living conditions. I use this title because I am just making a minor comparison; I think I have seen documentary footage of houses in better shape in the Chernobyl area than I did with some of the housing at these varying labor camps. It was just a real eye-opening experience to me because I had no idea that these even existed.

It is a basic human right that everyone should have access to food and shelter; but these felt more like prison cells than a place someone could call home.