Ok, this is not going to be a fun post.
If you want just the good stuff, you may want to skip it.
Later on this afternoon, Lila and I will walk over there and clean up from the week's work and take some happy photos to balance this out. I actually hesitated to write about it, but decided that if you're reading this, you're on this ride with me - roses and thorns.
For those of you who want the whole thing, here goes.
Let's start from the beginning, which is actually only a few weeks ago. Feb 3 or 4 or something like that.
About to decide whether or not to buy this little piece of land, I had a couple hesitations, one of them being the proximity to the water treatment plant. From what I understand, this is the second one in the village, and also the much newer one. The first one is close to the beach and I can often smell that it leaves much to be desired.
To gather some data, I asked around and checked my sources.
One woman whom I have observed to be a bit inflamed and "ready for war," spoke of the horror of the water treatment plan. The noise, the smell, the pollution. She was actually moving out of the little trailer she was renting as we spoke.
Several other people, including one I know better and whose opinion I trust, said that it was going to be fine. That it was shut down at the moment and would be working well when it re-opened. Much newer structure and systems, no problem.
I bought the land and I have seen people working on the very quiet, all white, very square building, over the last few weeks. No sound, no motors, it is still shut down. Possibly for repairs. Perfect.
Once, I thought I smelled "something" but I was not sure.
This week, I became sure.
A smell, not a good one, coming from that general area.
Which perplexed me because there are still no sounds, no mechanical activities. But hey, I know so little about these things and so I just shrugged and vowed to plant roses and honeysuckle and jasmine close to my house - and also always have a stash of incense on hand.
It would be fine.
Until this morning.
This morning, a friend introduced me to a woman who lives in the neighborhood and is much more knowledgeable than I am. She is also not feeling well.
"They have been dumping the sewage from the town straight into the field," she said. "Thousands of gallons of water every day for a month, now. Many people are sick."
To illustrate her point, she sent me photos and a video. NOT GOOD.
AND whenever the word "field" is mentioned, unless I am mistaken (I will for sure check on this), I think it refers to "my field." Ooof.
She spoke about how she had been calling the City for a week and how finally the "delegado" came by yesterday with a biologist, and how they explained that the well which the village draws all its water from is only 500 meters from where the sewage is being dumped. And this is not the rainy season yet.
On fire, she had just created posters and a petition and was on her way to try and gather a bunch of signatures to protest against this.
A phone conversation from last night with two close friends rang in my ears. "I am not interested in being involved with anything "big" while I live here," I told them. I want to paint, I want to write and I want to do my work. Ya.
And now this. Pretty much in my face. Something that impacts so many people and animals. In my freaking face.
The first thing I wondered is: do we know what it is we would like to see happen? For sure what is going on right now has to stop. But what is the alternative, the solution, the sweet spot? This, I would like to know. Because maybe we could make some moves in that direction, learn how to facilitate that.
While Neta (whom I am looking forward to meeting in person "in the hood") went to town to put up posters and get signatures, I created an anonymous online petition.
So yup. This is today's flavor.
I am not panicking. I feel more as though this is something to be addressed, with many lessons in the process, I am sure.
Again, water. Isn't that odd?
If you are up for it, I would love for you to sign the online petition because hey, this is important stuff.
HERE it is (ignore the request for a donation from the website once you have signed).