Friday, September 09, 2005

It's raining, it's pouring...

We have power again. Last night the sky opened up above Jaisalmer and threw down torrents of rain and lightning bolts. When it rains here, the power short circuits. This morning, everyone was happy. There was a celebratory mood as people hung out their denched clothes and bedsheets. We asked the owners of the guesthouse how long it had been since the last time it had rained. The answer surprised us. "Six or seven years."

The news from Miyazaki, Japan, about Typhoon 14 is mixed. The prefecture was not hit as badly as it could have been, but there were deaths, landslides, flooding, and destruction of water purification plants. Miyazaki City is distributing information to residents on where water distribution stations will be located. Some residents may have their water supply reduced or cut off completely for the next few months as repairs are made. People living in high places are expected to have little or no water pressure. My former neighborhood, located on a hill on top of another hill, is one of the ones listed as water challenged.

Tomorrow we are going out into the desert by jeep and then camel. We'll see how the people of the Thar Desert live, without electricity, without much water, as they have for centuries, if not millenia. My guess is that it's not an easy life, but that it is sustainable. It helps not to depend on technological systems that are easily disrupted.


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