Save water, Life in the desert
Save water, Life in the desert1 min 3.0K 1 min 3.0K
What no one told me about Niger is that it’s practically the Sahara Desert. Truly. One hundred and fifteen degrees, sandy, dry, and brutal. And there’s no place to escape any of it. The only available water in a place like this lies in 100-year-old holes in the ground, and the women have no choice but to hoist it out by rope, one bucket a time. As a result, their hands are gnarly, shredded, calloused, and hard.
On one of our final days, I followed a 26-year-old woman named Fadoum through part of her morning, just to see and capture what it was like. She described it for me in advance: waking up before sunrise to collect water, cooking breakfast, going to collect more water, pounding grain for lunch and dinner, and then collecting water again. But witnessing it was another story. I got to see all of the no-big-deal things that she left out: bathing and dressing her daughters, feeding her goats, cleaning her home. It was amazing. And it was also painfully exhausting.
After an hour, I asked when she got time to rest. Fadoum laughed. “There’s no time for rest!”
“What’s your favorite part of the day?” I continued. Without missing a beat, she looked up at me and replied in total seriousness: “Anytime I’m not pulling water.”