Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pre-departure

By Caryssa

Trip preparation is off to a rough start, but I am optimistic that everything will be ready for tomorrow’s departure. The internet at home seems to be disconnected, so this post comes via mobile hotspot. In summary, technology is great.

However…

Technology can’t protect us from everything as I found out this past week. A simple leak has stopped the flow of running water for a few days, but it has not stopped my packing efforts (although maybe delayed them). It is crazy how something that simple can take away what most of us take for granted – a seemingly infinite water supply. Simple tasks like washing hands or teeth become a chore, and there’s never enough bottled water. And only now do I realize how much water really goes into flushing a toilet. (Pulling a handle doesn’t quite give you the full effect like carrying a fully-loaded bucket of water from your neighbor’s hose does.)

Some of us suffered less than others:

This exercise-in-water-management coincides well with this upcoming trip. Access to clean water and sanitation are important human needs, and major disasters (or tiny leaks) can disrupt that access, despite current technologies in place. I hope to learn more about these relationships over the course of the summer, as well as gain new viewpoints on managing water. The Netherlands seems like the best place to do this from the country’s long connected history with water.

I expect a lot of walking (and maybe some bike riding), which should be a nice change from the long car trips I usually have to make. I am a little concerned about the food because cheese is one of my least favorite things, but I hear there are some amazing meals around. I am thankful to everyone who has made this trip possible, and look forward to expanding my knowledge, learning about new cultures, and potentially tracking down some family members.

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