Officials tending to the 33 men who've been trapped in a Chilean mine for more than three weeks are preparing to send them their first delivery of solid food this week.
Through three bore holes that are about 4 inches in diameter, officials have been sending down items to make the miners more comfortable and physically and mentally as fit as possible. But until now, the only nutrition sent to the miners has been in liquid form. The miners have been trapped in a cavernous shelter more than 2,300 feet below the surface since August 5, and a months-long drilling process to free the miners began late Monday night.
Here's what's on the menu Tuesday and for the next few days, according to Jorge Diaz, one of the leading medics looking after the trapped men:
– Tea bags, herbal infusions and thermos flasks of hot water
– For breakfast, an energy shake containing protein and carbohydrates
– Yogurt and cereal shake for a late-morning snack– Ham sandwich for lunch
– Another yogurt and cereal shake and a kiwi fruit to help digestion at mid-afternoon
– Jam sandwiches for evening meal
– About 5 liters of water per man per day
– Total of about 2,000 calories per day
On Wednesday, miners are set to get their first hot meal since the cave-in. They will get rice and shredded beef or pork. These dishes in Chile are normally served with beans, but Diaz said beans "will have to wait for the future." Diaz said he wants to avoid all possibility of giving the men "intestinal gas," which he says would naturally be unpleasant in a confined space
EXTRA COMFORTS BEING SENT DOWN:
– MP3 music of Mexican-style "ranchera" music and Puerto Rican "reggaeton" dance music (that's a bump-and-grind, "dirty dancing" music genre).
– Nicotine patches for two of the 16 smokers among the 33 miners. One of the two reported feeling withdrawal symptoms from not being able to smoke; the other one said he couldn't sleep without having a smoke.
– Laxative medicine for one of the miners. A total of five had been complaining of constipation. BUT the medicine was suspended after the miner complained the laxative had "given him wind" and he was afraid of getting "expelled from the group" for the unpleasant smells.
– Reading material, including press cuttings about the mining disaster and the rescue effort, copies of the "Condorito" cartoon books (a Latin American classic), and a self-help book entitled "Tactics for Public Speaking" (Jorge Diaz said the miners were keen to able to talk eloquently to the press when they are finally rescued).
For more about the miners, read today's CNN.com report on the rescue effort, and yesterday's blog posts on rescue plans for this week and the other items that the miners are receiving from rescue officials.