Empathy for water

There’s a sinking feeling you get after having no water for 4 days. When the main water pipe bursts and you and your village have no access to clean water, you think about survival: what will I drink, if I use this dish, when will I be able to clean it, when can I shower. These questions rarely, if ever, have entered my mind but when we rely on our neighbors for what little water they have left, we start to have a shared empathy, one geared towards survival. While the instinct is there, life goes on as usual, only with the usual conversation starter of, have they fixed the pipe. 4 days later, I’m sitting outside my house when I hear a slight gurgle from the outdoor tap. The water is back. And in this happy moment, I was able to share it with my neighbors and people in the street. The kids started dancing, the mamas holding empty jerrycans started dancing, I started dancing. This shared understanding that life could continue, just a little bit more easily, a little bit more positively, life goes on.