Thursday, June 6, 2013

Women and Water: My Thursday Night.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just love teaching these kids!
How are you going to spend your Thursday evening?

I spent mine hanging out with 6 of the most lovely women. After the sun set on Vava'u, I eva-ed (wandered) over to Ane's house. Ane and her friends make up one of the Women's Groups in my village. They get together almost weekly to help each other out, to chat, to fellowship and to most of all...have fun! They also work together on ideas to better their community and I felt very grateful to be invited to a meeting last night.
These women are so passionate. Weavers, teachers, mothers, sisters, grandmothers... and hanging out with them felt, surprisingly, normal. (Even if they spoke Tongan the whole time - I did understand about 50% of what they were saying - fist pump!) They made me laugh, their children gave me hugs and uma (kisses) and I wasn't allowed to leave without a huge piece of cake ("For breakfast, Mandy!").
One of their most recent projects is making sure that all the families in my village have consistent access to drinking water.
That doesn't seem so hard right?Well, it's a little trickier than what you may think.
Geography Lesson Time -
Vava'u (and Tonga) are located in the South Pacific. When I moved here I said goodbye to spring, summer, fall and winter and instead gave a big Malo e lelei (hello) to the wet (hot) and dry (not as hot) season. So from December to May it's hot than the dickens out and rains quite a lot (my sima vai [water tank] was constantly full) and then right around now the humidity breaks, the sun comes out and the rain goes away. We have "city water" here, but it's very expensive for families and is sometimes full of chemicals. So I'm going to help them find some funding/grants to make sure that every family in my village has an affordable way to get access to rain water!

P.S. Some of you were wondering what I drink - I have a tank next to my house that collects the rainwater that flows off my roof. Tastes good!

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