Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Value of things

Three weeks ago I went to Cohana the community where the project is running that I had been working on and stayed overnight there. I left home with mixed feelings as it was my first time staying over in that community and the reality of their situation hit me. In these communities there is only very limited drinking water. There are only about half a dozen if that drinking water taps for the 5 communities that run along the side of the bay. The river is contaminated so they don’t drink it and the river along with some of the taps dry up between June and November (the dry season here). Meaning they have to walk a few miles to another tap! This had me wandering what they drink when it runs out!

Then last week a colleague was talking in devotions about trying to teach his children the value of things. When he was growing up he, his 7 other siblings and his Dad everyday used to queue to fill up their water bottles with the rest of the community from a pump. Now in his house in La Paz his children turn on a tap and get hot water and the other for cold. His comment was how hard it is to teach them the value of things when they are so freely available.

This reminded me when we were living in Gloucester in the summer of 2007 when our water was cut off, because of all the flooding that happened that summer. We had to go out into the streets looking for water tanks that had water in them and then carry the water back home. Overnight we became very aware and careful how we used the water we had, using it for as many things as we could before using it to flush the loo.

So how do we value these everyday things that are always there and freely available?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Cheese Grommit?

M is for...

M is for Micros
There are hundreds of Micros (buses) here in La Paz of varying sizes from small 8 seater Suzuki vans (Bedford Rascal van size), mid sized combi vans seating about 12 people, and old rickety looking ‘dodge’ buses where the only limit is how many people you can squeeze in, which will usually involve at least two people hanging out of the door! Each of these micros display a sign in the windscreen of their destination and very often have a person hanging out the window shouting out the destinations for the benefit of those in the population who cant read.

M is also for Mocachinchi
This is a drink made from dehydrated peaches which are boiled in water together with cinnamon and then left to cool before drinking. The first time we where served this drink was about a week or two after we arrived. We were celebrating All Saints Day (2nd November) with our host family. Sarah saw them pouring out the drink from a saucepan into a jug and got worried. She knew a part of the traditional dish for this day was pork and was worried we were going to get served a pig’s eye drink!!

L is for Llama

This a video click I took last year of some Llamas that came past one of our offices in the countryside. I am guessing that the colours in their ears mark out who the animals belong to. They also have bells on them, and the guy speaking on the click is asking me and my colleague for money for taking pictures of his animals!!