October 18 post
I read somewhere about a society in a third world country where humanitarians were hoping to elevate the standard of living through education. One of their biggest challenges was getting girls to school because their traditional job was water carrier. A water carrier cannot be spared, not even for a day to go to school.
For only two days we have been obliged to walk 100 yards down the path to a spigot in the woods for all of our water. We need it for drinking, washing, cooking, toilet flushing. If we want warm water, we have to build a fire, arrange a cooking platform, and heat water in a pan.
It is the rare evening at the dinner table that you hear this casual conversation:
"We'll just use the toilet water to wash the dishes." "Okay. Good idea." (just to be clear - it was water from an open bucket, perfectly clean. Just not as clean as the water in closed jugs.)
Suddenly wasted water is relevant. Overuse has immediate consequences in labor.
There is something wrong. We Americans need more awareness of what it means to labor for our own personal survival.
I am marveling at our guests, who have chosen to stick around for all this time, when hot showers, electricity, restaurants, and central heating are only a ferry boat ride away.
L and E are both scientists - in fields of biology. They spent hours on end with their five year old daughter along the shore yesterday - exploring, collecting, exclaiming over all life forms. Goaded by their enthusiasm, we gathered a bucketful of mussels and a few clams to boot. Most of their dinner was a mollusk feast.