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Today is Blog Action Day. Once a year, bloggers around the world unite to write about an important topic that impacts all of us, including those of us in the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and grandkids. This year, the topic is WATER. As Change.org writes:
Why Water? Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted. Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.
Now, this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I drink so much water each day, I've earned the occasional nickname of Fish! I may love my sodas, but I still get plenty of water each day and love it! My grandkids are also good about drinking water and if any of them lag behind, their moms make sure they get enough, usually timing it well before bedtime to prevent midnight risings. Sadly, not all grandparents and their grandchildren have enough water to drink.
You've probably all seen the various reality shows on TV. I'm not personally a fan of them. But today, I watched a "reality video" that was very interesting and very real. And very dramatic. AND very thought-provoking and heart-rending!
"Walking in Sabina's Shoes" is a video that illustrates a trip taken by one World Vision volunteer to a small village in Kenya (a baby boomer, if I'm not mistaken 🙂 ). While visiting a family there, she made ONE of TWO daily trips a native mother, Sabina, normally makes to gather water EVERY DAY. Her family uses about 13 gallons a day and Sabina has to make the 4-mile round-trip walk to the river for water – TWO TIMES a day! Each round-trip takes about three hours!
Did you notice that on the return trip, this volunteer carried two water jugs – 15 pounds and 50 pounds. I struggle with luggage when I travel, since my main suitcase is usually about 50 pounds and my two carry-ons about 20 and 30 pounds. HOWEVER, all but the lightest carry-on are on wheels and I'm walking on sidewalks and inside airports with smooth roads and floors and much less walking. I can't begin to imagine day after day of such an extreme water-gathering routine that happens two times a day! And for water that is not that safe or healthy! And what about those places where they don't even have this good of an option?
I was struck by the volunteer's comment that "having no water robs you of time, education, family time, gardening time, a life!" Just think – too little time for much in the way of fun activities for grandparents and their grandchildren!
I, for one, am so grateful to World Vision and other great Christian ministries, along with many other worthy organizations that come alongside these peoples to help them, in Kenya and other parts of the world. And I am so grateful that I can partner with World Vision to help other grandmothers and grandchildren a world away to have better water.
This particular video illustrates just one of World Vision's projects, World Vision Kenya, where 68,000 people – mothers and fathers – many also caring for elderly parents as well as their children and grandchildren – now have water near by, including Sabina, thanks to World Vision and the people who partner with them – like me. Like you? For more information, click here – World Vision: Water and Sanitation.