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Today in My History

2000: Paternity Leave
2001:  Cousins
2002:  In Your Easter Bonnet
2003:  Shrove Monday
2004:  Shock and Awe
2005The Great Houdini
2006:  Where's the Canine Prozac?
2007: Crunch
2008:  Baby Watch
2009:  How Much are Those Doggies in My Window?

2010:  Hunting Wildflowers
2011: The Sound of (Kinda) Silence
2012: Perspectives

2013: No Kiddin'

Bitter Hack
Updated: 3/19
Blue Man Group
You Can't Take It With You

Books Read in 2014
 Updated: 3/1
"40 Yrs of Chez Panisse"

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Ernest & Vanessa's Visit

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


1 April 2014

Have you heard about the Tap Project?

It's an ingenious idea.  UNICEF is working to help the 768 million people around the world without access to clean water. This year you can help by taking a challenge to give up access to something far less vital than water–your cell phone.

You are challenged to give up your cell phone.  You register your cell phone, put it down and don't touch it, for as long as you can go.  For each 10 minutes you don't touch your phone, you can give a day's fresh water to someone without access to it.

I don't know how it works and who the people are who are supplying the funds to bring fresh water to people in need, but I thought...what the heck.  I have a cell phone that goes for days at a time without being used for anything important.   As of the last moment I checked, people participating in the project have donated the equivalent of 4.5 years of clean water

It does mean not only no phone calls or text messages, but no selfies, no Instagram, no Word with Friends. I can do without that for a day or so to bring fresh water to people without it.

Almost every profile I read of children waiting for Compassion sponsors includes among their household chores "carrying water."  Some of my sponsored children carry water over a mile twice a day so that their families can have water to cook with and wash with...and those water sources are not necessarily safe water sources.

The farthest I carry water is when I fill a pint sized glass and carry it all. the. way. across the family room to the recliner, where I drink it while I watch television.

Many of the daily blog entries for Compassion concern water.

Little-Girl_Water-Jug.jpg (29312 bytes)The walk from Isabel’s 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.

Upon reaching the river, I found a wash house where people gather to bathe. This is also where a pavilion is set up to wash clothes.

We learned that this water, like most water in the developing world, is contaminated and a cause of illness to the families who rely on it.

We filled our five-gallon water jugs from the river and, with each jug now weighing about 40 pounds, began trudging back up the hill to Isabel’s home.

Isabel placed her jug on her head and slowly but steadily walked up the steep path. The men in our sponsor group slung their jugs to their shoulders, while the women worked in pairs to lug the heavy jugs up the hill (which, with each step, seemed more like a mountain).

Finally, one of the women in our group tried carrying her water jug on her head. As I struggled up the hill, it seemed insane to place such a heavy jug on my head – especially without a pad like the local women use. But after my friend found this method easier, I decided to follow her example. Indeed, the jug was hard and heavy, but this was definitely easier than anything else I had tried.

I was able to slowly, steadily, step-by-step, make it the rest of the way to the top of the hill. When we finally reached Isabel’s house I had a real feeling of accomplishment, having contributed to the effort of bringing water to this family’s home. We all had a new understanding of walking in the footsteps of the poor, and a new appreciation of their daily task of fetching water.

So much time and energy is spent each day by Isabel and her children just doing what they must to survive. Gathering water and obtaining food is the main task of each day. There is little time or energy, let alone financial resources, to spend on school work or economic tasks such as developing a business.

If, instead of spending hours each day gathering water, these families were able to get water in only a fraction of that time, and if that water were clean rather than a cause of illness, just think of the difference it would make in their lives!

How much different would our lives be if we had to spend two to four hours each day just getting water to cook and do dishes?

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I figure if I can do anything to help, if it means giving up Word with Friends or Selfies for a day or so, that's not so bad.

I first started the app running and within 2 hours, my battery had died...apparently the phone needs to be running all the time.  So I plugged it in and it has been going for more than 13 hours now, which is nearly 80 days of fresh water. I don't know how long I'll stay connected to the Tap site, but even if it's only for one day, when I sit down and drink my pint of fresh bottled ice water, I won't feel quite so guilty about the walk my sponsored children are making to bring water to their homes tomorrow.

If you feel you can go without touching your cell phone for 10...20...30 minutes...an hour or more, I urge you to check out The Tap Project and see how many days you can provide for children in countries without the access to water that we have.


Ned's annual birthday video for Brianna


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