It’s so easy. We turn on a facet and there is water. Clean water gurgling through the pipes and tap. We go to our refrigerator and water and ice come out of the door. We turn on our shower, we flush the toilet, use a public water fountain – access to water is everywhere. Just stop for a moment and think about how many times a day you use water. How many times do you turn on a facet and clean water comes out? What would happen if you turned on the facet and nothing came out. It would be crazy wouldn’t it? Would you think of water differently?
This is exactly why we chose charity: water for our Rickshaw Run fundraising. There are few things that touch us as much as water does on a daily basis – so in some way we can all relate. But water is one of those things we take for granted. I know I do. Recently when I was at a fast food restaurant I filled my cup with self-serve ice by pushing a button and inevitably I overfilled it. I simply dumped the extra ice out in the tray to make room for more sugary coke. We seldom think about how easy it is for us to get clean water and how easily we waste it. We dump out clean water all the time. It’s not a big deal in the US, but in other parts of the world clean water is a precious commodity.
“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated.” –data from charity: water
America makes me soft. Every time I spend time in the US I’m reminded of how easy it is to slip back into the inevitable habit of taking things for granted – it’s human nature. However, I just left the US this week to embark on 2+ months of travel again. One of the things I look forward to is that international travel throws me into the world of wonder and appreciation again. I become very aware of how lucky we are in the US and developed countries. I understand these are just sugary words I’m writing, words we all hear frequently. But travel makes the words and thoughts come to life. It forces you to see, adapt, and live a different way – that’s when you really form appreciation for something such as water.
This week, I arrived in India. As I try to entertain you with social media updates from this colorful country, I will also be spending my next 7 weeks constantly looking for clean water as I travel the country. Some places it will be easier than others. But every day on the road I will be looking to buy water and fill up my bottle. My water bottle is not used to simply drink. It’s also used to brush my teeth and wash my hands -and in some cases I may be using it to clean cuts, my glasses, and even bathe!
Not only is water relatable, but we chose charity: water as our Rickshaw Run charity for other reasons such as their 100% model, and the ability to actually see where our fundraising is going. But one of the other silly things that resonated with me was this quote:
“It was crazy to believe that we could solve the water crisis in our lifetime. It was crazy to start a charity that gave 100% of its public donations to the field. And it was crazy to show people where every single donated dollar went. But we found other people who were crazy too, and they joined our mission.” –charity: water
If you’ve been following me for a while then you probably know that I LOVE myself some crazy. In fact when people call me “crazy” (which happens often), I find it to be one of the best complements I can get. Our lives are normally planned and controlled, yet I think we all yearn for a little bit of crazy. You may not have the guts to do it yourself, but you appreciate it. After all, the crazy makes life interesting and helps us grow. Whether it’s crazy food, crazy culture, crazy ideas, crazy lifestyle, crazy adventures, or crazy fundraising – it’s all crazy beautiful to me.
Driving a rickshaw 2,000 miles the length of India is crazy. My partner, Charlie Grosso, is crazier than me. It’s crazy to try to raise $15,000 for water. Charity: water is crazy for thinking they can actually make a difference. But I support it all…bring on the crazy!
And if you aren’t crazy enough to do something like me – then invite a little crazy in your life by supporting my adventure and supporting clean water.
Be crazy by supporting crazy.
Because the craziest thing you can do is nothing.
The Rickshaw Run begins April 3rd – stay tuned for more details on how to follow along with the crazy!
A HUGE thanks and big virtual hug goes out to all who have donated so far to our Rickshaw Run fundraising – we have raised over $7,000! BUT we have a long way to go. Just hop on over to our donation page and give whatever you can – no amount is too small.
By Stephanie - The Travel Chica March 15, 2014 - 10:18 pm
Charity: water is such an amazing organization. I love their fundraising model, and it’s very cool that you’re getting involved with the Rickshaw Run.
By Mary @ Green Global Travel March 15, 2014 - 10:20 pm
I love this idea and what you have decided to do! You are 100% right in saying that we often take clean water for granted. Thanks for sharing.
By Angus Pryor March 26, 2014 - 12:13 am
Totally agree Sherry. I’ve organised at work gift for customers of ‘clean water’ via a different charity. The other place I’ve enjoyed giving is via Kiva.org. Just this morning, I donated to a lady in Vietnam who wanted funds to instal a toilet. The things we take for granted : )
By Sona March 26, 2014 - 5:39 am
Nothing should be taken for granted, everything has its value and must be appreciated, and one of those things is water. I respect your worldview and the steps already taken . Wish you good luck in your future doings!
By Michelle March 26, 2014 - 9:16 am
I spend most of the year in Thailand, where all apartment buildings have water but many do not have HOT water (you have to boil a kettle to get it) and it’s amazing to me how many westerners simply cannot live without hot water in their kitchen or bathroom sinks.
Shows how spoiled so much of the west is, particularly compared with much of the rest of the world. Very sad 🙁
And good for you doing this!!