Heat. Sweat. Exhaustion. Thirst.
Racing heart beat. Thrill. Excitement.
I feel all these things when we have a [soccer] match. When the whistle blows and the game is won, my first thought is to jump and cheer and hug my teammates. My second thought is to have a drink of water.
There we are, 11 players waiting our turn to swig from the single water bottle available on the field. I remember seeing Hollywood movies in which players would dump huge jugs of water over their coaches heads at the end of a match. I would laugh and think, “Wow, how fun would that be to do after every match.” I was almost envious of their unlimited supply of water.
But isn’t every drop special and priceless? Doesn’t every drop of water make an impact?
In our villages, water wells and pumps are built in the center of town, proving how instrumental they are to the community development. Everyone gathers every morning and evening to collect their daily water needs. If someone doesn’t turn up, then we will bring water to their home and check on them and make sure they aren’t sick or in need of any help.
In some of our villages the nearest water supply is miles away. Usually women will make the daily journey. Some see it as a STRUGGLE, and YES, it is very difficult to live without a nearby water supply. However women mostly enjoy these daily walks where they can chat with their friends, hear the latest village gossip, share their struggles and seek advice and support from one another.
In the cities, we sometimes struggle from water shortages in which there is low or no supply. We sometimes have to wait a day or two before there is running water again, which is difficult if you have not stored any emergency supply water in your home.
During these days you see people carrying empty buckets to their neighbors’ homes and leaving with full buckets back to their own homes. Water trucks come and everyone gathers with their buckets and wait their turn. The children especially enjoy the water trucks as they splash around in the water that leaks out.
And then, here we are, on the field, under the hot sun, after a tenuous and triumphant match. We 11 girls wait our turn to drink from that one single bottle. That one single bottle is beautiful. It is life-giving.
Not one of us takes more than our share. Not one of us drinks without thinking of the other girls who are waiting, just as thirsty and tired. And everyone gets their fill. Everyone is satisfied.
This proves how amazing water is, whether in excess or in limited supply. It gives life and builds community.
-Saanvi, age 11
Saanvi’s essay was published in Bright Lite Magazine’s Water Issue http://www.brightlitemag.com/
Saanvi is a grade 7 student in
One Life to Love’s education program