Sunday, April 28, 2013

Entry # 148 - "The Truth About Water"

Scotland - May 2012 - Jan Bowman Photo
 Most people take the idea of having fresh water always available as a "given" in their lives.  We turn on the tap and have an abundance of safe water. But my dear old friend, Dr. Mary Bowman-Kruhm has been working on a project to bring fresh water to a village in Kenya that she visited a few years ago. As a result, I have thought about how we take our clean water supply for granted. So I wrote a short creative nonfiction piece about it last year. 


The Truth About Water 

by Jan Bowman - October 2012 

Drink up. Water is wealth. Water heals. Mends the cells and flushes toxins.

Scotland - May 2012 - Jan Bowman photo
Drink water from plastic bottles bound for recycling or landfills.  Reclaimed water flows into sinks, bathtubs and showers. We stand over cleansing basins of recycled water, flushed with complex chemicals. We drink deeply.  Wash vital organs clear of toxins with water taken from bottles and tidy faucets.  Faucets quench thirst, but bottles travel better.

Drink water. We have so much. But do we think about it at all? Water holds it all together.  The great Earth’s land masses press,  just as we do, against oceans, rivers, tides. Think of areas in China, Kenya, India or the Sudan. Among the Earth’s poorest people, water is valued more than riches. Water is wealth. Whether woman or child, she who bends her back and kneels to touch the shallow stream or river with dry, cracked lips will live, unless the water brings disease, or toxins do their work.   Or if no rains come, famine will. 

Drink water. But how much?  It depends. Where do you live? How old are you? How healthy or wealthy? How much is enough? Perhaps eight or nine cups are enough, unless you’re thirsty, or tired, or your urine’s darker than light yellow.  Or unless it’s early in the morning, or you’ve just swallowed a handful of vitamins, or you’re terribly ill. Then you might need more or less.

Drink more water. Lose weight. Flush out those toxins destined for the rivers of reclaimed water flowing into glasses and tubs. Don’t worry that you’ve taken too much. Water your lawn. Wash your car.  Flush and flush, because you can.  Not everyone can. But you'll not think of that today. For that is our truth about water. We don't know what life is like without it. 

Drink up. Water is wealth. Water heals. Mends the cells and flushes toxins. Or some say,"Drink wine. You’ll live longer." Of course, it takes water to make wine.


 My friend, Dr. Mary Bowman-Kruhm, has been working with this project to dig wells which will provide fresh water in Oltorotua, Kenya.  I interviewed her on my blog site (Entry # 68) last year about her writing career and her work with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland - in conjunction with the Rotary Clubs in Maryland and Kenya. Here are some links for more information and I have cut and pasted this recent posting from the website about the work they are doing.  Go to my blog site - Entry # 68 - Posted last June 5, 2012, for my complete interview with Mary about her writing and her work on this project

Consider the good that you might do with a small donation to this worthy project.      


The Maasai, the Mara, Musings, and a fresh water well for Oltorotua, Kenya

Dig This Well! is a site dedicated to the establishment of a fresh water well for Oltorotua, Kenya. A group of congregants from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick (Maryland), are working with Rotary Clubs in Maryland and Kenya to meet this goal.

To read Blog Posts Click Here: “Why Dig This Well” .


The Oltorotua Clean Water and Sanitation Project

Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, MD and Rotary Clubs of Leonardtown, Fredericktowne, Lexington Park & Prince Frederick, MD USA

On the Kenyan plains

• Water is very difficult to find and not safe to drink.
• No sanitary way to dispose of human waste threatens the environment and the health of the people.
• Fetching water can be dangerous because of the presence of many large wild animals, including lions and other cats, elephants, and African buffalo.
• Because of the long distance, fetching water consumes much of the day for the women of Oltorotua, whose skills are now untapped.

Jackson Liaram

is a junior elder of Oltorotua village and a silver-level safari guide. He and his wife Susan have 2 children. But no electricity, no toilets … and Susan walks several miles a day for water. Jackson is dedicated to protecting his people and the environment. He wants to find a way to safely dispose of wastewater. He wants to help his people build a safe and reliable clean water supply. A hydrogeological survey shows water is under the village and the village elders have formed a water committee to build for sustainability and water equity and to address hygiene training. The Nakuru-Great Rift Valley Rotary Club is providing local oversight to assure all contributions are wisely used.

Well for Oltorotua Kenya

With your help we can make a difference by:

• Drilling 3 new boreholes—deep wells—adequate to supply the village’s needs.
• Helping the villagers construct 100 new sanitary latrines.

Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and other human rights.”
Declaration of the General Assembly, United Nations, 28 July 2010

Download Dig Well flyer

Brief Bio

Jan Bowman’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review and others. Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers. Another story won the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, and her stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, Pen/O’Henry Awards and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. Learn more at or

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