The winter storm devastation in Texas last week was talked about worldwide. My friends in Kenya were sending messages to make sure we were OK. It was a sobering moment hearing that 48% of Texas was without water, knowing that the regions to which we provide water in east Africa have 42% of their population without water at any given time.
We were OK, but it was difficult. As a mother, I was panicked. We had two days with no water and no heat, and my 9 year-old daughter was scared. It took a lot of energy to make everything seem harmless and temporary. I could see the confusion in her eyes, and her eyes were on me a lot. It was up to me to make sure she knew that dragging muddy buckets of leaking pipe water into the bathrooms was no biggie, and that having to boil the water before we could use it was not that unusual and was even a little fun. Navigating no showers wasn’t that bad, though, since she’s been skipping showers with me for a week once a year, anyway, during Well Aware’s annual Shower Strike.
But, I don’t think I even realized how stressful it all was until the surprises had mostly passed and my body gave out. For a full day, I was depleted.
During the peak of the power and water crisis, people were reaching out to me personally about how they were feeling more appreciative of running water. These messages helped me stay grounded in gratitude, as well. But, I have to admit that there were moments I was grumpy and self pitying.
All of that stress and worry and discomfort is what comes from not having the basic resources we need to survive. It’s difficult to think and react in this state. And there are so many people in developing regions of the world who have to live with this every single day. We can barely address each new obstacle much less plan for the future of our families.
Coincidentally, the Shower Strike, Well Aware’s largest fundraising and awareness campaign is happening just next month. A couple weeks have passed now since millions of Texans were without water, and unfortunately, we all felt the pain of losing basic resources for days on end.
It is my hope that our friends in Texas – and everywhere – will join our Shower Strike this year. We have an incredible opportunity to use our newfound perspective of living without water and take action to support others who have carried the weight of this struggle all of their lives.
Learn more and register for Shower Strike here:
Below are communications Well Aware received from friends, past strikers and donors who related their experience during the Texas winter storm to Shower Strike: