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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Daily Usage: Cape Verde

Water in Africa

Africa, Cape Verde

Each morning, after brushing my teeth, I step into a half-full basin of cold water. My wife, Alli, has already showered. After breakfast, I fill a small plastic basin with soap and water and soak our breakfast dishes. No time to wash them; I don't want to be late for work.

Alli and I walk to work and pass the women collecting water from the 50-gallon barrel by the side of the road. "Bom dia," we greet one another as we pass. The woman ahead of us has a large bucket of freshly obtained water on her head. I hope she doesn't spill any on the baby strapped to her back, I think to myself. All of a sudden, Alli exclaims, "Wow! There is water under the bridge!" I wonder, Where did it come from? How long will it last?

Children are playing in the stream, collecting water and building dams. It's so beautiful, I ignore the trash floating downstream, the kid squatting by the road to relieve himself, and the child throwing the can of "BOP" mosquito repellant into the water to watch it float. "Goodbye, see you in a bit," I say and continue on my way to work.

World Wise Speakers

Invite a Peace Corps volunteer into your classroom to share what it's like to live a global life by sharing stories, cultures and knowledge.