Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today, I'm not taking drinking water for granted

Over the past few weeks, Julie and I have been doing a bit of homework… preparing for a trip we’re taking to the Dominican Republic. We’ve never been there, so everything is a lesson. We’ve learned about Hepatitis A and B vaccinations (ouch) and updating tetanus shots in advance of our trip, and taking regiment of pills to prevent against malaria.

Also, we’re learning about the hazards of drinking water in tropical locations. Americans are not accustomed to the less treated waters that are considered potable by foreign standards; people who live in those countries have built-up a resistance to the bacteria and micro-organisms that exist in their water supplies… we have not.

That doesn’t just mean, “Don’t drink the water.” It means you cannot brush your teeth from the tap, you cannot put just any ice cubes in your drink, you cannot consume salad greens, fruits or vegetables that have been rinsed in tap water…

It means you can't take one drop of water for granted. Because that could be the drop that is tainted. It's not scary, so much... as it is an important lesson.

As a matter of coincidence, I came across a story in the opinion section of the New York Times that spoke of the challenges of obtaining water in third world countries. It offers a solution, too, in the form of a Swedish company that has created a system to make otherwise dangerous water supplies safer to consume… as well as a means to fund and profit from providing those systems to people who cannot afford to pay. (Click here to read the story.)

I loved this idea. It gives me a degree of success to shoot for in my personal projects.


© 2010 Mike Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

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