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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

There is no water where Shancote and her children stand, just dirt and dust.

Kilometers away, high on the mountain, there is water, and it is gushing to the surface, forming a spring.

As the water flows from spring, it becomes a fast-moving stream. The current continually erodes the undergrowth, adding mud, twigs, leaves, and other debris to the flow rushing through the forest and down the mountainside.

Further down the mountain, the stream slows and becomes shallow, having arrived at the lower reaches of the forest. Cattle meander across the breadth of the water, tracking more dirt into the water and leaving their droppings. Today, like so many other days, the cattle stop to drink and eye the mothers on the banks of the stream, carrying their laundry further up the narrow bank.

Hours from where Shancote and her children began their journey, they now stand at a bend in stream’s edge. Shancote kneels and plunges the clothes in and out, methodically rinsing away the dirt. A few feet away, her children, barefoot and delighted, play in the stream. It’s a rare day today: her children are not sick, at least at the moment.

Shancote, having finished her clothes washing, walks to a pond further downstream where she gathers today’s water.

At the pond, Shancote scoops out some water into her palms. As she brings it to her lips, she picks out a piece of dirty grass and takes a sip, and says to herself,“We live like cattle.”

After filling her large water jug, she finishes her thought by saying, “We want to live like people,” as she and her children begin the long journey home.

Visit #nomorethickwater today and learn how you can help Shancote realize her dream of living like people, not cattle.