it's not in my commute, but walking through the neighborhood usually leads me to pass by fairly frequently. the sector is very much urban - yet, at the same time, it's not. it's slum. the streets are not paved, and most pathways are really just footpaths behind houses and across property lines (as if property lines exist). there is little electricity and even less running water.
i see women washing clothes in the dirty water, men peeing into it. americans with ministries go blue in the face telling the kids not to swim in it. but it's a waste of breath - these kids are often bathing in it. and on these hot days, with little respite from the carribean sun, you need a calculator to add up the number of kids in the water.
on saturday, we were driving by and saw these kids swimming in the canal - with their mom on the banks cheering them on. this little guy had three bottles tied around his waist with a rope to keep him afloat.
i've said it once, and i'll say it again - necessity is the mother of invention - and dominican people sure can invent something from nothing.
he jumped in a few times and bobbed along, jumped out again so we could take some pictures (shameless,i know!). his older brothers were swimming with floats as well - but the rope was longer and the bottle bobbed around - if they got too far away, mama could easily grab onto their bottle and pull them to safety.
here we are spending money on new floaties - when a few empty bottles would do the trick!