Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hot and Cold, Water

A friend writes that Las Vegas is hot, so hot it almost feels like extreme cold, the way it dries out the mucous membranes. There are some interesting parallels between hot and cold, such as a competition one year between my archaeologist friend in Tucson and my brother in Fairbanks about which “icebreaker” would occur first – Tucson hitting 100 degrees or the ice on the Tanana River thawing. There are some parallels too with regard to water between Oaxaca and Fairbanks, as I pump water from the ubiquitous blue jug to make coffee in the morning on a burner. Many hours later, Stefan, water procured from an essential "water station," does the same in his Fairbanks cabin. Only I have running water… (Click title to read and see more.)

On another aquatic note, I am continually struck when traveling at the extent and ingenuity with which people implement small-scale sustainability ventures, in a just-do-it way that seems so free, fast, and flexible compared to the institutions I know well. Here in the hotel, the owner asks guests to collect water as the shower heats up in the buckets provided, and then uses this to maintain the courtyard gardens, boasting her plants "have never known clean water." She manages the supply with an intricate network of hoses, wishes Oaxacans showed a bit more reverence for the resource of water.

No comments: