It has been said that you can’t begin to understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. And so we did. Carrying buckets of water. And, to no one’s surprise, it was hard. Incredibly hard.
We met Marialydia in the 100-family community of Los Laurales. She lives about a mile (closer than many of her neighbours) to the nearest, yet unreliable, water source. We arrived on Marialydia’s doorstep with buckets half emptied and our eyes wide opened, having received but a tiny glimpse into just the physical struggle to access water.
We laughed, and, if I’m being honest, were laughed at, as we tried to perfect the heave-ho to get the buckets in just the right position for optimum carrying, all the while receiving tips and tricks from those for whom this was simply routine. Part of a routine. A ten-bucket day is routine. We carried just the one.
I’m not gonna lie, I was feeling pretty proud of myself as I rounded the home stretch under the close supervision of the local ladies who helped me maintain balance with a panicked chorus of “Whoaaaa” if I tipped the bucket too far forward or too far back and who took pity on me by offering a ring of fabric to put between my head and the bucket (which, by the way, is key!).
I was feeling especially proud of myself when I caught a glimpse of Nekky. He carried a bucket too. Between breaks. Apparently his bucket was bigger…
As part of his own campaign to help fund Change for Children’s water project, Nekky’s Unversity of Saskatchewan School of Dentistry Class of 2009 banded together to raise money (much like our For the Well of it team did and is doing!) to drill a well in this community.
This week we will re-visit Los Laurales. But this time, we will pump water from a new community well! We will meet the Water Committeee. We will learn how reliable access to water has impacted these ladies since we last walked but a mile in their shoes. And maybe, just maybe, Nekky will carry another bucket. This time without stopping. Just maybe.