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22 July, 2011
I put the large glass under the spigot of our water cooler and I pulled the handle. I frequently go to the cooler to get a tall, cold glass of water.
As the water poured out into my glass, one of those big water bubbles popped up inside the big bottle and settled with a loud "plop" on the top. I smiled. It's a fun sound.
I looked at the big bottle and saw that it was almost empty. I would have to go outside and get one of the new bottles that the water man had left for us earlier this week. I always know when the water man has come because the dogs go crazy. I check to see why they are barking and here is this very nice man with a bottle of water on his shoulder, another in his hand, bringing them across the street to my front door.
The 5 gallon bottles are heavy, but they are easier to lift now that they have added handles to the design.
I don't carry the bottle all the way into the kitchen. I lift it up to the floor of the hall and then push it down the hall to the kitchen. Then I lift it up onto the counter, wipe off the dust that has settled on the bottle while sitting outside waiting for me. Then I peel back the label and turn the bottle upside down and stick the bottle on the little spigot that sticks up inside the cooler.
It used to be more difficult to put the water on the cooler, since it involved the possibility of spilling water all over the floor. But they they invented this method which removes any danger of losing water if the bottle slips out of your hands.
I'm really good at changing the water bottle. It's the one physical thing I do that I am good at. I drink so much water that when I began working in offices that had water coolers, I took over keeping the cooler full so that I always had icy cold water to drink.
* * *
It's morning and I'm getting ready for the day. I go into the bathroom and get my fancy electric toothbrush. I turn on the water and put paste on the brush, then I stand there letting the toothbrush brush my teeth for me. At some point I realize how much water has been running freely down the drain and I feel guilty about wasting water, so I turn the faucet off, finish brushing my teeth, then turn the water on again, rinse the toothbrush and put it back. Upstairs, I hear Walt flushing the toilet and the sound of the shower running. I go back to the kitchen and turn on the dishwasher.
* * *
Sheila is out in the back yard licking water out of a bowl that has collected run-off from the sprinkler. The water is brackish. "Yuck," we say. "You don't want to drink that." We empty the bowl onto the grass and refill the bowl with clean water.
* * *
The paperwork for my newest Compassion child, Emanuella, arrived yesterday. I smiled when I read her information. One of her household chores involves carrying water. "They all carry water," I thought to myself.
Well, duhhh...they all do carry water...
There was a diary entry from Compssion yesterday about water. It's entitled "How Far Would you go to fetch safe drinking water?" The writer had recently visited her sponsored child in El Salvador and decided to join the youngest child in the family on her walk to the river to get water.
The walk from Isabels home to the river took about 30 minutes. The view
of the river was stunning, and most of the walk was down a very steep slope.
How we take for granted our easy access to water and how little we
think of the millions of the people who, along with their small children, are walking 30
minutes or more each day to gather contaminated water so that they can wash, cook, and
PHOTO OF THE DAY