Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jerry Can You Carry?

In all of the video clips, pictures, and documentaries that we show here at The Wells Project to give people a picture of the world water crisis, there is always at least one person trudging through slums, jungles or savannas with a jerry can upon their back. The scene has been played so many times that it seems as if the jerry can itself has come to serve as a symbol for the water crisis on its own, calling out to people with its yellow glare that something needs to be done to help the thirsty. As true as this is, we at The Wells Project didn't want the jerry can just to serve as just a symbol of the crisis but instead as an actual reminder of the hardships that the thirsty have to go through every day. To do this, we hosted the event "Jerry Can you Carry?" on Friday, April 19th.
We were hoping we'd get a lot of people to carry the jerry cans on their way to and from class, especially since the weather had been so beautiful all week. But at first campus was pretty deserted and we spent most of the morning trying to stay warm and keep our table from blowing away in the freezing wind. Fortunately after a while some people started to leave their warm beds and we got some people to stop and check it out. Most of the people that stopped were guys, probably because we challenged them to "see if they were strong enough" to carry the cans. I was only there for part of the morning, but it seemed like there were more people willing to stop and talk toward as it got later in the day.

Overall the event was a success. I think people are going to remember us better now that we made them carry 40 lb. jugs of water through campus. But I think the best part was when a man from Kenya carried two of the jerry cans all the way down slant walk and then stopped and talked to Chris about how he had experienced the water crisis himself growing up in Kenya. It was so exciting and humbling to hear from someone who had experienced the crisis first-hand, and after talking to Chris about their conversation I think we all had a better picture of what it's like growing up without water. A couple weeks later I went to a cook-out for the geography department, and the man was there! How serendipitous! I introduced myself and he said his name was Peter and was finishing up his masters in geography at Miami. Even though he's left Miami now he said he'd be willing to help The Wells Project out in the future! Meeting him was such a blessing.

I think the Jerry Can you Carry event was a great way to end the year. Hopefully this coming year will be even more eventful! Stay tuned, friends.


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