Thursday, March 22, 2012

World Water Day

It's World Water Day.  A few years ago, I didn't know that the day existed.  More importantly, I didn't really understand that there are so many lives touched by the lack of water or clean water.  I had not looked into the eyes of people that spend ALL DAY LONG walking to get water to survive.  Today, I understand better (I do not think anyone that doesn't live that life can fully understand) how the lack of clean water affects people.  

While we were in Ethiopia we saw babies bathing in mud puddles along side of the road.  We saw women and young children walking in the middle of nowhere in the countryside carrying water.  We saw what life with waterborne diseases can be like.  I can not image watching my loved ones die for reasons that were caused because there wasn't any clean water for them.

We live on a lake.  We look out our windows and see water (or ice) every single day.  We have clean water that comes out of our faucet every single day. And, rarely do I not take a shower every single day. A hot shower with clean water. I can't comprehend how lucky I am for having clean water.

One of my little guys gets very upset when the water goes down the drain after he takes his bath.  It seems to get better at times and then worse again.  Sometimes bath time is a blast!  As of recent, it is a deep concern of his.  He cried for a long time tonight in my lap because he didn't want the "water to leave" after his bath.  And, it's not that he likes his bath so much that he didn't want to get out.  I had to hold his hand during his whole bath tonight and his other little hand held the drain plug to make sure that it stayed in place and the water stayed in the tub.  And, then when his mind gets set on things "leaving" he had a whole list of things that he didn't want to "leave".  Ryan is away on a business trip tonight.  He didn't want his daddy to "leave".  He had a great time playing with a friend yesterday.  He didn't want his friend to "leave".  He didn't want his sisters and big brother to go to school anymore because he didn't want them to "leave".  Oh, those conversations tug at my heart.  Don't get me wrong, there are many more happy times here than scary sad times, but I sometimes can only imagine what goes through my little boy's heads and what lays on their little hearts.  Feelings that stem from loss and hurt.  Feeling that stem from poverty and all that poverty does to so many lives here in this world.

We love living on our small little lake.  We spend countless hours using our lake for recreation.  Swimming, boating, skiing, wake boarding or just sitting next to the water to watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset over the lake while sipping on a cup of coffee. I'm not saying any of that is bad. Really, it's quite awesome.  But, while we were in Awassa we walked down a dock on Lake Awassa.  I soon realized that we were the only ones that were just walking down the dock to see the lake.  Everyone else was either fishing, taking a bath or washing their clothes in the water off the dock.  

And just down from the that dock was a fish market.  Men and boys catching fish to sell.

Those that have access to water in a country that has such a lack of clean water use the water they have for a purpose.

The ice is completely off our lake this week.  Buche and Burka have told be many times "I found the water ... It came back!!!"  They were so very, very excited to see the frozen lake turn to waves of water again.  I have much to be thankful for and today I was reminded again that water is something that I take for granted.