Archive - March 29, 2016

Water by Rachel Schneller (Mali)

Water by Rachel Schneller (Mali)

With all this talk of toxic water in Flint, and elsewhere, I thought of one of the loveliest pieces of writing by an RPCV that we published years ago. If you didn’t read it then, here is Rachel’s short essay. • Water Rachel Schneller (Mali 1996–98) When a woman carries water on her head, you see her neck bend outward behind her like a crossbow. Ten liters of water weighs twenty-two pounds, a fifth of a woman’s body weight, and I’ve seen women carry at least twenty liters in aluminum pots large enough to hold a television set. To get the water from the cement floor surrounding the outdoor hand pump to the top of your head, you need help from the other women. You and another woman grab the pot’s edges and lift it straight up between you. When you get it to head height, you duck underneath the . . .

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