Stories from the Global Church

Here you will find stories from the global church by ELCA global missionaries, scholars, and churchwide staff, brought to you by the ELCA Global Church Sponsorship team.

Water most political

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Hand In Hand

Here’s an excerpt from the September 2009 Newsletter of Jean Wahlstrom and Marvin Kananen, ELCA missionaries serving in Tanzania.  Jean is the Mentor of Christian Education at the Maasai Girls Lutheran Secondary School and Marv works with English teachers in the Arusha diocese.–Sue Edison-Swift

We thought we’d take the mystic approach to the water situation (also a very African approach), the problem might go away. Their solution is to not mention it and hope the problem would vanish. Well, that partially worked. The problem didn’t go away but the water did. For the entire month of August not one drop of water passed through our pipes. Instead we fill our car with empty buckets, we go elsewhere to find water and fill the buckets, then we get home and empty the car and, too soon, empty the buckets. Sigh. The Deputy Head of School directly approached Marvin and said, “Do not get involved with the water.” Apparently it’s OK to get involved with the electricity because that’s only physics, but water is political. It is MOST POLITICAL. That explains why our neighbors have water (some of it from our old water line) on all four sides and we do not.
–Jean Wahlstrom and Marvin Kananen, Tanzania

One Response to 'Water most political'

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  1. Marvin said,

    on March 8th, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Three years later, the school was allowed to hook into the waterline that ran through the school’s property. Worldwide, water still remains political rather than a human problem. The compassionate neighbor, sibling, friend is the best kind.

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