Thursday Tidbits

Posted on February 9, 2017 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

 

“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Water.

Is it possible to transform the lives of an entire community?

In a word, yes.

For most people, water is an afterthought. We turn on the tap and out comes clean water, hot and cold and plentiful. We use it for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, for toilets and doing our laundry. About the only time we really notice it is when our towns or cities are fixing a problematic water line or flushing the lines. We are mildly inconvenienced for a few hours while the necessary repairs/maintenance are carried out. We hear the comforting swoosh as the water is turned back on and after a few minutes of discoloration, we’re back in business.

There are many places in the world where getting water is a major undertaking every day of the year. In some cases, people have to travel significant distances from home to get water and then have to lug it back.

 The leprosy community is next door to the Daughters of Mary. The Sisters support these people who were afflicted by this terrible disease years ago. The good news is that the community has an abundant supply of clean drinking water. It comes from storage tanks on site and is transported to ten outdoor taps scattered throughout the village. The problem is that these 10 taps serve 60 families. There are no indoor water taps. That means that most people have to leave their homes and travel a distance to fill their jugs. The distance, albeit short, wouldn’t be a big deal for most individuals.

Amputations amongst people with leprosy, is common and very often it is the hands and feet that are the areas of the body most affected. Poor eyesight is another symptom of the disease.  Going to get water is much more complicated for these people. Having a water tap outside every home would make this aspect of daily life so much easier and would be one very small step on the way to independent and dignified living.

Fifty taps. $100 per tap. $5,000 in total. A drop in the bucket.

I am asking you to consider a contribution to make this a reality. You can buy one or more taps yourself  or perhaps partner with friends in your book club , alumni organization, coffee clutch or professional association. If you have a big extended family, maybe they could pool their resources and take this on as a project. I can’t think of anything that is more basic or more necessary in this circumstance.

It’s time “to turn on the taps.”

Next Thursday, my Faces in the Crowd story will be about John Ponnya, one of the residents in the leprosy community. I sat with John the other evening to hear his story and to try and understand what goes on inside the head of someone who has been discarded, cast out of his own home when diagnosed, marginalized and reduced to begging. This story is not about pity. It is about understanding. For someone who has had a life unimaginable to us, he still has a glimmer in his eyes and he has a good sense of humour. We shared some laughter through an interpreter.

Count your blessings and have a great week.

P.S. A few of you have been having problems with e-transfers. When you go into your on line banking and click on “interac e – transfers” ( or something similar ), would you please add the “ Daughters of Mary” as “ new recipient” and double check the e-mail address. A few folks have mistakenly used the incorrect e-mail address. The correct address is : investmentindia2017@gmail.com. There is no “in” between the words investment and india. I am still receiving transfers daily so I know the system is working. If you retry and are unsuccessful, could you please send me the name of your financial institution… just the name? I want to see if there might be one particular bank with whom we are having the issue and then we can try and resolve this. Really appreciative of your support… and patience.

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