Towards the end of our trip we visited Saint Joseph’s, a Catholic school for girls. Most of our LTP collaborations were with primary schools, so I was excited to work with older students for a change. St. Joseph’s works with a Sister Cities of Durham program that focuses on improving access to water. Since the school moved out of the center of the city it has been difficult for them to find an adequate source that is not too expensive. So, for our LTP project we wanted to focus on this issue of access to water. The students are all aware of the issue, and I was excited to get started. Each group was given a different subtopic, and the goal of my group was to show the advantages of water.
To brainstorm about our topic I asked the girls think about what it would be like if they had no water at all. I told them to imagine what they do when they wake up, as they go to school, and to think about all the parts of their day but without water. Then I asked them what they would not have in this scenario. I asked them to tell me what is missing when you don’t have water. The girls rattled off many different answers including anything from diminished health to problems with irrigation, but one particular answer stood out to me. One of the girls said, “Without water you can’t have happiness.”
This answer really struck me, and it made me reflect on how often I use water and how important it is to my life. I thought about the shower that I took in the morning and how it was definitely too long. I thought about the half cup of water it took to brush my teeth and the bottle of water I drank in the morning. I thought about every drop of water.
What was even more impressive was the way they set out to take the picture. I am struck by the way that the water is falling and how the girls are smiling.
That day at St. Joseph’s the girls in my group taught me a lot. Granted at every school with every student I learned a lot, but this seemed so applicable to my every day life. I know that I don’t understand all the complexities of the water situation at St. Joseph’s, but I do know that I can be more conscious about how I use water. Water does give us the opportunity to be happy, and that’s something I came to better appreciate that day.