Pockets of rain passed overhead on the 2 mile walk to the Environmental Defense Center’s (EDC) headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. It is impossible to ignore the breathtaking beauty of the area… even in the rain.
Behind me spread peaceful, wide beaches, shaped by the waves of thousands of years. Before me rose the undulating foothills of the imposing and majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, its tops hidden by thick shreds of clouds. Santa Barbara is nestled here, in this oasis. Read more
The first question is usually, “How hot was it?” And I’m never quite sure how to explain it in a way that makes sense. Think about sitting in a sauna fully clothed and in work boots. Then think about playing soccer and football, digging trenches and sifting gravel in that sauna. For 8 hours. That’s pretty much the physical experience. But that does not convey how happy you are. That the heat only really registers occasionally, when you’ve hit the wall of exhaustion. Otherwise, you are feeling fulfilled in a way you just don’t feel in your everyday life.
There are so many stories to unpack from my week-long trip to El Salvador where we built a clean water well for the village of Llanos de Achichilco, in the San Vicente area of El Salvador: the lack of basic amenities like toilets and electricity; the children who only attend school until 6th grade; the record number of men in their 30’s and 40’s dying of kidney failure from exposure to pesticides as they chop through sugar cane fields with their machetes; the amazing in-country staff of Living Water International who donate their lives to helping their country.
But I’m starting with a shout-out to the mommas of the village…