I was reading a blog that had writing prompts this morning… just to see if I could find something to inspire me.  I found a prompt to write about ice cream memories from my childhood.  The first memory that popped into my mind was walking to Dairy Queen with my Grandma in the summer time to get a Peanut Buster Parfait.  Sounds like a good memory, right?  Well, in part yes, but the actual overwhelming memory is being quite young and it being VERY hot outside. I can distincly remember that I was parched (altho not knowing how to define that feeling at the time) and my feet were hot and swollen…
This is actually a feeling that I remember very well from many times in my childhood.  Being hot, thirsty and miserable.  Hating how the heat from the asphalt uncomfortably warmed my ankles and calves. Hating how uncomfortable I was. I also remember that whenever we would ask for a drink, often the answer was ‘wait till we get home’.
I don’t remember water being as big a deal in my childhood (23 years ago) as it is now. 
When we were in school we had to ask permission to go get a drink of water at the water fountain in the hallway (in HIGH SCHOOL!).  No food or drink was allowed in the classrooms.  When I cashiered (about 13 years ago) we weren’t allowed to have a bottle of water at our tills, even tho we would chat for hours with the customers and there was never an opportunity to take a quick break.
Now children are sent to school with water bottles.  They keep them at their desks.  Cashiers keep water bottles at their stations.  Everyone has a re-usable water bottle and for the most part, of the people that I know, they guard it with their lives. My sister and her hub and I were driving home from a family outting and when I realized I forgot my water bottle, she made her hub turn us around and go back for it because as she said ‘I couldn’t live without mine… I presumed you were the same’.
I always have my water bottle with me now.  I have one on my desk and one in my house and then one I take with me if I’m going somewhere other than my office or my house. 
I hardly ever get ‘thirsty’ now.  Drinking water all day is just a habit now… I don’t think it’s healthy to ‘get thirsty’… I know it’s not good for me.  The other day I was out shopping with Sam and all of a sudden I was THIRSTY… like in a panic, burst into tears, find me a drink of water right this second or I’m going to freak the fuck out, thirsty.  Good thing for me we were in a store that sold water, and we went and grabbed some straight away.  I don’t know why I get into a panic like that… it’s probably not rational…
So that got me to thinking… as I sat in a bubble bath this weekend because it was FREEZING in my house… I should have brought my water bottle in here… nothing more refreshing than drinking ice cold water in a hot bubble bath… I wonder if people in countries with no free flowing, cold, drinkable water get that same panicky feeling I get, or if they’re so used to being thirsty that they don’t even recognize it.
I wondered how it could be that I can turn my tap on and let the water run into the drain until it’s ice cold, but millions of people can’t get a drink when they want it…. and then the horror hit me.  I’m sitting in a bathtub full of DRINKABLE water.  I’m soaking myself in 70 gallons (GALLONS) of clean, fresh drinking water.  I can tell you, I jumped out of that bathtub like someone dropped a hair dryer in…
It reminded me that I take a lot of things for granted… I screach and scream as if I’m ‘dying of thirst’ when my beloved water bottle isn’t inches from my hands… never for a second thinking that had I been born somewhere else… I would be one of 783 MILLION people that don’t have access to clean drinking water.
As I was looking for statistics, I came across an organization called Drop in The Bucket.  I poked around a bit and will do more research about how I can help, but in the meantime, I bought a new glass water bottle.  All the profit from these particular bottles will be directly used to provide clean water to schools in Uganda and South Sudan.  They’re limited edition so if you want one, go to this here website.

2 thoughts on “Water

  1. In the UK there is a really great organization that is working to bring clean water and proper sanitation to the world's poorest communities. You can find out more about them at wateraid.orgIn 2006 they did this great campaign called 'Knit a River' (http://www.wateraid.org/uk/get_involved/campaigns/take_action_now/knit_a_river/default.asp), where they collected over 100,000 blue knit squares and sewed them together into a giant river. The river has been used in a number of their different marches and events.I'm not sure if there is a more local chapter, but it might be a good place to start looking for ways to get involved.

  2. You bring up some really interesting points here. I just had a similar conversation the other day with someone. They were telling me about an experiment where these kids were only given a gallon of water a day to live off of. Cook, clean, shower, drink etc! I would fail miserably since I probably nearly drink that in a day! All of us in the western world take this for granted. My water comes directly from a spring out of a mountain about 100 meters away from me. I'm pretty darn lucky. Since that conversation, I do not run the water freely. I shut it off while I brush my teeth, I take slightly less time in the shower, and am just generally more appreciative of it!Your comment about how we had to ask to get a drink of water in school… so true! Why did we not have water bottles with us back then? There's no way I could sit in a class all day today and NOT have a water bottle!

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