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23 de marzo de 2017

Water (el agua)

Hola todos(all),

I know it has been a little while since I last posted.  It has been crazy this last week and half. I have been trying to figure out what classes to take, but the main concern of mine recently was how I do I live with limited water. For those of you who don't know, Perú was hit with heavy rainfall over the past week. There was intense flooding in northern parts of Perú. This has been one of the worst flooding crisis in a while for Peruvians. The flooding has damaged approximately a hundred and a half thousand properties, has affected 650,000 people, and killed 79 people. The severe flooding backed up treatment plants in Lima, Perú. I am currently in Miraflores district in Lima, Perú. Water was cut off for me from mid-saturday to yesterday morning since our water tank ran dry mid-saturday. For others, the water wasn't available since Thursday of last week. I wasn't thinking at first when I heard about the flooding and water being cut-off from residences. I was confused because I still had running water, and my host mom just told me to take quick showers. She didn't say not to flush the toilet or use less water to do whatever I need to do. Therefore, I was using water, but not that much less than normal. Then, I realized that I should have been using less water. After it ran out, I went for a run because I was told that same day the water would return at 2pm. While after 2 pm passed, there was still no water. I realized that I probably wouldn't have water for a while. I did not shower that day, but the next day, my host parents got water from somewhere else, so we could bathe and flush the toilets. I got to use a rag, soap, and water to bath from a bucket. I felt a little better, but I was panicking. I was starting to think what if all the bottled water ran out. Will I ever get running water back? I was having a mental breakdown. I took for grated the water I used everyday. I did not know I needed water for so much. I need water to shower, to cook, to wash dishes, to flush the toilet, to brush my teeth, and to stay hydrated. After reading a post by my resident director, I felt guilty because here I was freaking out about how I could only do so much with a limited amount of water while other people lost their homes and loved ones. They needed the support and useable water more than anyone. Needless to say, over the past few days, I have learned to live with a tiny amount of water, to care for the water, and to recycle and reuse water. I have also volunteered my time to help those most affected. And, I even got to shower with running water! I feel blessed! Water is so precious for living yet so damaging in large quantities.  
          For some residents here, they would not say that they take water for granted. They say that floods have happened in the past and the government was supposed to have a plan to quickly fix the crisis situations, but they do not care if the citizens do not have clean water. The government is corrupt and cares more than anything about money. However, these floods were the worst that has been seen in a while probably due to global warming and melting of ice caps. The government aren't the only ones at fault. Even though mother nature isn't controlable, we all impact the environment; some more negatively than others. But, we have choice; we can either sit on the sidelines and watch the earth become destroyed or we can care for the environment. Use less water. Eat less meat. Grow our own food. Compost. Buy local food from local farmers. Recycle. It doesn't matter if we can't do all these actions or more. It just matters what we can do to lessen negative impact on the earth. Remember the earth provides so much for you, so give back to the provider! And, keep discovering!

7 de marzo de 2017

¡Hola Amigos!

I have been in Lima, Peru for a little over a week now. I am currently still doing orientation through the study abroad program, IFSA-Butler. I am starting to be more accustomed to the area and my bathroom. Taxis, buses, and any car will usually not stop for pedestrians and will continue at a very high speed. Don't throw toilet paper in the toilet; instead, in the trash. I know right toilet paper not in the toilet, weird. However, this is due to low water pressure. There is no personal space unless you mean the shape of your body, of course. Always greet and say Adiós or Chaufa (slang peruvian term for good-bye) even if you only have known the person for a few minutes, and it is common to kiss on one cheek. The toilet is your best friend when you got to go constantly because your stomach doesn't know the bacteria in Peru quite yet. Anyway, I am excited to began my classes next week at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú. I will be keeping you updated when I can with all of my adventures and discoveries in Perú. Keep on discovering, mis amigos!