Thursday, March 22, 2012

Memories of Water on World Water Day

One of my earliest memories is from when we lived in Pakistan. I remember on cold mornings when my brother would take a little pitcher like the one in the picture below and he would pour water in my hands so I could wash my face. Then I would do the same for him. I remember the water being so cold and gasping when it hit my face. We didn't have any water source at that house until my sister was  born.


My mom used to walk down to my grandparents house and fill clay pots with water from the large well. I remember watching her slight body carry those large pots full of water on her head without any difficulty. When I was a little older I would help her pull the water from the well.


I remember the day my sister came home from the hospital. My mom was sitting with her on a woven bed and in the background men were installing a water pump. For the next year I would love pumping up and down and filling the buckets with water whenever we needed them. What a luxury it was to get water so easily.


As I would grow up my memories of water would take on a different context. There would be the great water of the Atlantic ocean as I flew to America for the first time. There would be the water of the Great Lakes as I grew up in Michigan. The water of the Bosphorus as I learned to live in Istanbul and now there is the water of the Potomac that we walk by on warm evenings.

From a trip to the UP.
From a frequent ride on the ferry in Istanbul.

I realize what a privilege it is that my current thoughts of water are filled with happy memories. It is amazing that so much of the world doesn't have access to clean water, leading to thousands of deaths every day. Matt Damon is the co-founder of and he wrote this great piece in the Huffington Post encouraging us to use our voices to bring attention to this issue. I hope you will join me in giving thanks for access to clean, safe water and if you can, I hope you will donate to the UNICEF Tap Project or

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