Sometimes I feel like I'm dreaming when I'm really wide awake. I feel like the airplane that flew us to Mozambique didn't just allow us to travel over continents and oceans but that it also allowed us to travel through time. Sometimes when I look around in my surroundings I truly wonder if it is the year 2014 or if I have somehow marvelously travelled backwards in time. Earlier this week I visited a remote village in the Bush Bush where I truly felt like I had entered into the Medieval Times.
Last year my grade 4 class and I studied the Medieval Times. Specifically we learnt about what the houses and living conditions were like. We learned about what happened when you got sick during the medieval times and the kind of toys that kids played with.
As I walked around this precious village, I was deeply reminded of the Middle Ages. The houses were made of mud with straw rooves and most windows were just open squares in the mud huts.
Photo taken by another member of our Iris Crew to capture mud huts (irisglobal.org) typical in this area of Mozambique.
There were so many people who were sick and in need of medical treatment. One woman's sore injured foot was simply wrapped in a dirty old piece of cloth. The lack of hygiene and personal health can easily result in the quick spread of sickness. As a child I remember watching World Vision commercials and seeing Ring Worms getting pulled out of the skin of kids in Africa. This was the first time I've seen children up close and personal with the signs of ring worms on their forehead and belly.
I saw children playing with old wheels and a stick, pushing the wheel forward down the road by hitting it with a stick just like we saw in our medieval times textbook last year. Instead of plastic jacks, the children used stones and rocks to make their own game in the dirt.
As I see these kinds of things, it is no surprise I feel like I'm living in another time period or like I've travelled back in history. This weekend visit to the BUSH BUSH was particularly exciting because we got to be there for the final stages of drilling a water well. The organisation that we work for digs wells in communities without access to clean water. It was tremendously exciting.
Last year at Elmdale Public School the School Board installed a new water fountain to replace our old one in the hall. It was very exciting and my students always wanted to drink from it on our way through the halls. If my students in Canada who had multiple different water fountains to drink from and endless supplies of clean water got excited over a new water fountain at school, you can only imagine how incredibly excited this village was about getting their very own water well to drink from for the first time in their lives!
I wish the story of this village was more unique. I wish that more people had access to clean and safe-drinkable water. I hope for a day when children wont have to walk for miles for a single sip of water. I dream of a day when children wont have to worry about whether or not the water they are drinking will make them sick.
Unfortunately there are many villages like this one. Check out these statistics from thewaterproject.org :
Indeed sometimes I feel as though I've travelled backwards through time when I see such living conditions and poverty. All the while, the joy and simplicity of the people never cease to amaze me. They continue to teach me treasures of wisdom I hope to someday share with the 21st century.