flowing water washing hands

Blog | Water Crisis?

Photo by Shayne_ch13On a typical Monday morning…
I usually wake up around 7:30ish, take my mom to the train station, come home, can’t go back to sleep, so I start my day with a cup of java and my 9 am weekly meeting with my boss Marie. Little did I know on the morning of Monday, March 12, 2012, one moment would open my eyes and force me to realize how much I take for granted.

“Olivia I need your help! Go shut off the main water valve, water is overflowing from the toilet!!” This was my alarm clock on the morning of Monday, March 12, 2012. My mom was yelling to me in desperation to help her prevent another catastrophe from striking our home. Luckily, we were able to stop the rushing water and another flood in our bathroom, which could have potentially penetrated through the walls, all the way down to the basement. Catastrophe averted! Now the real headache begins. Getting someone to come and fix it.

Fortunately, we have a great home improvement guy that fixes anything and everything. My only concern was that it was such short notice and we didn’t know if he could come that day to fix it. First thought, “Oh man we are going to have to shut the water off.” Someone shoot me now! I was able to get our guy on the phone, told him the problem, and he responded with, “I can come today in a couple of hours.” Crisis averted yet again!
As he had me on the phone, he asked me if I had shut the water off. I told him no. In my head I was thinking, “I need access to the shower, to wash my hands, fill up the Brita with clean water because it is the main beverage I drink, make my coffee, cook pasta for lunch, and many other things.” He tried to convince me the best thing was to shut the water off, but I wound up waiting until he came to my house to fix the toilet bowl. Because of my decision, I had to go up to the bathroom every 20 minutes and dump out the bucket of water from the busted pipe on the toilet. What a pain!

The thought of having no water for just a couple of hours terrified me.

After about the 10th time trudging up those dreaded steps, it finally hit me. Olivia, you are being ridiculous! The thought of having no water for just a couple of hours terrified me. As this realization hit me, I literally stopped on the steps and my first thought was about the people in Haiti. I am fortunate to be working with Community2Community (C2C), who believes that everyone, no matter where you are in this world, has the basic right to the essentials needed to live a healthy and happy life. One of those basic and fundamental sources of life is water.

Living in a country like America, we are fortunate that we don’t have to think about where we are going to use a bathroom, how and where we are going to wash ourselves, and what we are going to cook with. Clean water is easily accessible to us. Why can’t it be like this for our fellow brothers and sisters in Haiti?

Haitian man running water

Here I was freaking out about the fact that I would not be able to use the bathroom, take a shower, have water to cook and drink with, and make my coffee that I oh so “needed”, when up until recently, the communities that C2C works with didn’t have a place to go to the bathroom. After I started thinking about the people we work with in Haiti, I finally opened my eyes to the fact that I take water for granted and truly understood how imperative it is in our daily lives. Water is like air. We need it to function. Without it, we literally don’t exist.

Now thinking about it, I am irritated at myself that it took an incident, such as my bathroom almost flooding, to realize how important water is in our daily lives. It is hard for me to even fathom how the communities we work with in Haiti, prior to us helping them build 15 latrines, had to search for an area to use as a substitute for a bathroom or risk not going at all. That is not acceptable! I am happy to say that I am a part of an organization that is working to ensure that all human beings basic rights are being met.

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