I was going through some of my old college papers recently and came across this gem of a memory. Although I struggled picking a community to share this with, I reckoned my fellow Wanderers would appreciate the anxiety and dry humor of my travels to and through Colombia.
I could tell you the family’s history in full but that would take more than a thousand years. No, instead I’ll start my story with my earliest personal memory and pray that we have enough time. I was just a youngling, green and happy, living at my sister's finger tips, under my fathers watchful eye. Father Sun and Sister Tree worked together in perfect harmony, to provide me with a splendid life. I never wanted it to end but alas, all good things do and my youthful story is no exception. We had a brother and we called him Wind. He regularly came to gather together my siblings and carry them on to the next stage of their life. On the day he came for me, I wasn’t scared. Sister Tree told me to have full trust in Brother Wind and one day I would be just like her. So I gave my farewells and innocent promises to return. Brother Wind took me softly in his arms and carried me to the ground, where he introduced me to sweet Mother Earth. He placed me gently within her loving embrace and assured me that everything was going to be alright. Brother Wind then covered me in a warm blanket and bid me adieu.
The music tumbled out of the speakers, a soft melody that had an aura of despair but somehow also carried a feeling of hope. Flowing through the room, sinking into the corners and then bouncing back into the center, Skylar was watching it all happen. Or rather, he was feeling it. He actually hated this kind of music, the stuff the Fathers played at these social gatherings. But there he was, sitting anxiously while drinking his glass of wine that cost more than his dad had ever made in an entire year. Watching the music spill around him. Though he went to medical school, his father preferred the peaceful life of a preacher. Skylar rarely thought about his dad these days.
The Flint Water Crisis
On March 25, 2013, the Flint City Council approved a deal to purchase 16 million gallons of water per day from the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA), sourced from Lake Huron. This move broke Flint away from a nearly 40 year deal with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD). There are many reasons to believe that the decision by the city of Flint to sign a deal with the KWA was short sighted, inconsiderate of Flint’s residents and ultimately detrimental to the city as a whole. Many of the problems leading up to Flint participating with the KWA are largely an issue of widespread structural racism and, too often, blatant disregard for the citizens of Flint, a majority African-American. In light of the elaborate and reckless exploitation of Flint’s residents through strategic racism, it is clear that the main reason Flint’s deal with the KWA was not made in the best interest of its residents is a lack of legitimate financing (or rather, shady financing) and politics taking precedence over economics at all levels of management by members of the KWA. Similar dilemma’s plagued the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the MI State Treasury, and even various Emergency Managers (EMs) who had been brought in precisely to help find solutions to such problems. Flint’s participation with the KWA would only serve to increase the already high water bill for Flint’s residents, as major water waste forced them to pay for more than was ever consumed, at a higher average cost. Flint’s residents were additionally served the bill for expensive repairs necessary to make Flint’s in-house water treatment plant operational, although only temporarily.
Hey Dad, I hope you’re doing well, I know we haven’t been apart very long but I really miss you. There is a giant field full of my new friends here but each day I still think about you and our time spent together. Thank you for the adventures you took me on through the years. I still remember when you took me home that first summer, we would go fishing every day and end the night by lighting a fire on the beach. As the leaves started to change, we would hike out under that incredible canopy of colors to mark the sugar maples for tapping in the spring. What a treat it was when the snow started falling, we would be flying around on the sled and chasing rabbits through the woods for miles.