"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


,,,and not a drop to drink

Via Spence Smith:

This is fantastic.

I lived with a family in a village in western Kenya for a short time about ten years ago. We didn't have running water; instead, we had to hike about a mile, go down a steep hill to a pipe that fed a dirty stream, get the rushing water into a plastic jug, then haul the water back up the dirt path on that steep hill. Then we had to hike a mile or so back through the hills home, boil and sanitize the water, and pray we didn't get sick. Oh, and we had to do all of this in a skirt.

It's funny at first - the whole village turned out along the pathways to watch the white girls carry their water home. But it's the kind of task that quickly loses its charm. Water is heavy (I mean, heavy), and the seal on my jerry can wasn't very good, so I quickly got soaked with leaking water. And boiling and sanitizing with chemicals doesn't always work. My roommate got giardia, which is a nasty digestive disease you get from drinking water that has been contaminated with human or animal waste. That's right: our water - the water that our food was cooked in, that we did laundry with, that we were expected to drink - had raw sewage in it.

I got really dehydrated there.

What if your life was like that? That's what this ad asks almost perfectly. More importantly, what are you going to do about it?

Two great organizations that work to help those without access to clean water are Watering Malawi and Blood:Water Mission. Either one will use your donation well.

Addendum: Check out this meditation on the very real problem of water access from my friend Samuel, who's a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.


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