Fieldset
Into the desert

The problem with having a housekeeper is that sometimes she does your laundry and you can’t find it. Two other women and I are planning to go to a sauna in a local hotel here and I need both of my towels, but of course I can only find one of them.

The problem with having a housekeeper is that sometimes she does your laundry and you can’t find it. Two other women and I are planning to go to a sauna in a local hotel here and I need both of my towels, but of course I can only find one of them.

This morning our team, about half a dozen of us, ran 6 kilometers into the desert.

The idea: run 6 kilometers to the salty lake for the “Run for water” campaign.

The plan: organize a driver the day before to plot the course.

The problem: it’s a different driver on the day of the run.

There were 3 people running and 4 people on bicycles. I envisioned the car and bikes arriving at the finish before the runners, but when the driver took a right turn when he was supposed to go straight, the bikes followed and we runners kept going straight (it would have been more painful for us to backtrack). I couldn’t keep up with the lead runner, so when he went off-road and into the desert that surrounds the salty lake, I followed and hoped the driver and bikes would find their own way. Women and children do this 6k walk, daily in some places, just to get clean water. People stared at us as we ran. Only foreigners do such things for fun. Fortunately we all ended up in the same place, on the “beach,” eating biscuits and tangerines and drinking water and juice in the shade of the MSF land cruiser. The bicyclers went back by bike, but we runners were happy to hop in the MSF truck for the return. On the way back we drove past the landfill, where everyone dumps their garbage. It was strewn with plastic and cardboard and refuse for miles, and of course I had to take a picture. Only foreigners take pictures of garbage. Still, the overall experience was a good reminder of the scarcity of water, especially since I can come home and turn on the shower.