|Clean water for students at Railway Primary School in|
Kampala, Uganda Photo by Cindy Levin)
|Me: rehydrating after training|
Everyone deserves good, clean sources of drinking water.
|A woman carries 10 gallons of water barefoot|
along the side of the road in Uganda
(Photo by Cindy Levin)
To start the day out right, I decided to take inspiration from two African women I've never met: this anonymous woman pictured to the right who was one of many I saw along the Ugandan roads carrying plastic jerry cans full of water and Siabatou Sanney who walked a marathon with 5 gallons of water on her head to raise money and awareness for Water for Africa. See a video of Siabatou's story here:
Now, please enjoy a video of me clumsily trying to carry 5 gallons on my head around my neighborhood...
Not surprisingly, my awkwardness and difficulty with the task helps illustrate the skill and strength of other women who carry water for years. Slate magazine reported years ago in a piece called "The Art and Science of Carrying Things on Your Head": "For untrained controls who have not had years to strengthen the right muscles and build up spinal bone density, carrying things on your head actually requires more energy than using a backpack." In other words, don't try Siabatou's marathon trick at home, folks!
|My daughter's 3rd grade class carrying water for|
3/4 of a mile to learn what it's like.
- Practice water conservation at home by doing the simple things, like turning off the water while you brush your teeth or filling your laundry and dishwashing machines completely before doing a load.
- Sign an online petition to help the citizens of Flint, MI with the water crisis. Here are two from Change.org and MoveOn
- Donate what you can to Water for Africa or Water for South Sudan to bring clean water to those in need and free up girls to pursue education and moms to care for all the other things they must do.
- Donate to one of these organizations helping Flint residents in various ways with health effects from lead-contaminated water
- Walk a few miles with the Charity Miles App to earn money for Charity: Water and tweet about it with the #WorldWaterDay hashtag
- Take the 5 Gallon Challenge! Make a donation and receive a jug in the mail to try to carry yourself for a mile. Challenge a friend to do it, too, and raise money to provide water for Africans. You send the jug back and can even track where they go in the U.S.
- Read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park with your kids and consider either doing a simple exercise of having them take a walk carrying filled gallon jugs like we did or contact the author or the real life main character of the book to visit or Skype with your child's classroom.