Monday, May 10, 2010

A Moment in the life of the Stream

Yesterday, we spent the day with some great Peruvian friends. They happen to have a house that sits "on the stream" that goes through town... literally, their house is not 10 feet from the stream. The good part is that they sit "above" the stream about 10 feet, too, on a little ridge. So, from their backyard I had a really good view of the comings and goings at the stream all day. Now, that might sound all romantic and nice, but reserve your judgement until you read all of what happened at the stream in a matter of 2 or 3 hours...
  • I watched two young girls take baths and wash their hair in the pool in the bend of the stream. (no, they weren't naked! They bathed the exposed parts of their bodies while wearing shorts and tank tops.)
  • When the girls left, I watched a woman bring the breakfast dishes to the same pool and do dishes.
  • About 15 minutes after the dishwasher left, a husband and wife came to the same pool and proceeded to wash mystery meat parts. At one point, they washed intestines by pouring stream water through the intestines MANY times... all the while, the dog sat below them in the stream and caught any stray meat parts that were washed out.
  • Upstream from the meat washers about 10 yards (at the same time the meat washers were working) 4 little boys decided to wash all of their muddy toys.
  • A few minutes later, a woman came down with a broom. Her pigs have been tied up about 15 feet from the stream all this time. She proceeds to sweep the pig area and tidy up the place by sweeping all of the pig-ness to the stream.
Are you getting the picture? And my friends live toward the bottom end of town, so this stream has already passed through much of the village. No telling what has occurred upstream from my where I was perched... Is it any wonder that we have so many complaints of stomach issues, intestinal parasites, e.coli, etc?????

PS - Did I mention that this town has no public sewage / drainage yet?