My family spent time in Mexico these past two weeks. Many of the hotels that line the sand beaches of Mexico's coast are modern and beautiful, but with infamously poor water purification facilities. You've heard it: Montezuma's Revenge; Don't Drink the Water. And it's true. We were careful with our food preparation and water sources, and suffered our trip with only mild stomach bugs.
Back home in the Land of Plenty, I am mindful of how fortunate Americans are to flip a faucet and have access to clean, good water.
Hubby tells me our experience in Mexico reminds him of another water-challenged country to which he traveled; for two years, he made frequent trips to a remote village near Sierra Leone, West Africa. During this adventurous time, he befriended many Sierra Leoneans with whom he still corresponds--guides, kingdom chiefs (yes, they exist), miners--mostly young, because in Sierra Leone, due to the lack of food and accessible drinking water (not to mention the prevalence of mosquito-borne malaria) reaching old age is coveted and rare.
Now, back home, I am finishing edits to my current work-in-progress (ironically, a novel based around the concept of living in a fantasy world built around water). I turn the faucet to cold for a cool drink, and am thankful for the people who are working to make a difference to provide clean H2O to our friends in Africa, and around the globe. For after all, we are one small, real world.