Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Happy Days? Sending a battalion of plumbers...

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (13 fans)
- Advertisement -

Decades ago, as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the slums of India's Worli Chawls, my appreciation for the basics soared.   (My 6'x12' room was above the arrow.)  

Basics like...  

A clean glass of water... I vowed that upon return to the States I'd forever honor, and sip from, every water cooler ever passed.     As a PCV, my water came up each morning in a cement-crusted bucket, and boiling didn't get rid of the stuff, including maggots, that continued appearing, even after I transferred the boiled bucketed water to a clean jug. 

A clean john... I yearned for that I could "solidly" pass the time on and have toilet paper that was not torn from my ever present back-pocketed, soft-papered international Time Magazine. My PCV john was down the stairs, down the sometimes rat infested alley to the left of the building and into the cockroach infested (as in thousands) latrine/shower house.

And a shower that worked and was neither too far away, too cold, nor wall-lined with humongous cockroaches.   These were among the basics I promised to forever henceforth honor.

On our Habitat group's recent Ethiopia Latrine Building Project our showers reflected the passage of plumbing upgrades from Peace Corps experiences from decades earlier.   Our modest hotel(s), reflecting investments by some Ethiopians, had quick heat showers canisters, with their flex lines, knobs, and connections cramped into stalls and hanging low enough from shower ceilings to bang into a 6'er's head.   Figuring out how to keep the temperature between scalding and frigid and how to keep the flex line from choking off the flow required a Ph.D. in plumbing and prognosticating.

Sending a battalion of plumbers, armed with tools, washers, nuts and bolts, to upgrade inexpensive hotels and to establish plumbing basics for all those millions unable to afford even modest hotel space, would do wonders.   Sending bathroom interior designers, who would move bathroom designs away from slippery tiles and allow them to measure curtains that might keep the shower spray in the stall, would also go a long way with Martha Stewart.

So, until Martha Stewart holds more sway in the many Ethiopias of the world, I will still look forward to returning to my simple home shower, or the cleanliness, warmth, and solace of that provided by my favorite Martha, my mom, Martha Hunn.  

- Advertisement -

Certainly, don't let the lack of a shower hold you back from a working a Habitat or Peace Corpsish trip that involves you in how much of the world lives.  

Hell, I only saw a couple little roaches in Ethiopia and Kenya, while my India latrine was home to about 2,000 three-inchers lining walls and floors.  

Back in those wonderfully meaningful Peace Corps days, tasting the gritty life scared my favorite Martha, who spent her life working to move us from that dirty Cleveland alley. But after succeeding at moving us, including my mortgage scared dad, from the alley, she never withheld me from tasting such lives.

Why?   Because mom and her parents knew that it wasn't just the hard work and character of our family that lifted them out of the unpleasant stuff.   It took a village.   A village of various ethnic friends whose families grew up in an era where they could find jobs that built stronger families than the era before.   They grew up in a land then filled with an abundance of resources.   And they DID NOT have a ruling class linked to the religious classes that forced them to subserviently build bigger and fancier palaces, churches, mausoleums, and such -- like so many of today's Ethiopia and Kenya's of the world were forced to do.

Mom and dad knew first hand that they and their parents worked hard to get their kids beyond the unpleasant stuff -- and they knew a strong, ethnically diverse village helped their kids succeed.   That made them appreciate life's basics that billions strive for today.

- Advertisement -

What was singed into the memories of the Greatest Generation may have to be seared into the upcoming American generation, if America is to return to truly being something special -- something that goes well beyond media and lazy bluster but lives in special deeds...

www.WorldServiceCorps.us

A Holiday Season letter created with you in mind awaits you at the links below"

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Exceptionalism comes from serving...American World Service Corps provides that.

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

http://www.worldservicecorps.us

Dwayne served in the Peace Corps in the slums of Mumbai, India, worked several Habitat Projects, and was on the start-up team of the California Conservation Corps. He has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, has been a builder, teacher, (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Carrots, Foreign Aid, Brown v. Board of Education and Israel /Palestine.

Golden Moms, Sisters of Fallen Heroes

World Service Corps Can Save Our Vets

Obama and Putin Play Newman and Redford's "Sting" and Bite the Warrior Class Too?

Need revenues? Add a few flush tax brackets

American Sniper -- Creating More Sheep, Wolves, or Sheepdogs Worldwide?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Working in the world is best way to learn about an... by Dwayne Hunn on Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 at 3:57:46 AM
If many, many more Americans served addressing nee... by Dwayne Hunn on Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:29:40 PM