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  • Meagan Butler

Water: The Source of Life

Water. It is the source of life. We can’t survive without it, and sometimes, being an American, we forget how readily available water is. We complain because we don’t like water. We’d rather drink sugary sodas, or GASP! Chemical-shit storm-fueled diet sodas. Coffee fuels us, teas fuel us, and those handy-dandy little packets of flavors satiate our need for liquids.

What happens when we don’t have access to what seems to be on every corner here in the United States? Flash-back to last summer, on my trip to Guatemala. It had been a long time since I traveled out of the country. My friend Katie (check out her blog at and I decided we wanted to go somewhere, and researched Central America in June. Many locations popped up, and we went with a more rugged adventure (Katie’s MOJO) and a more beachy-relaxing trip (My MOJO).

Cue the Guatemala-Belize vacation.

We had been traveling for most of the day. Denver to Houston, and then Houston to Guatemala City. We landed in Guatemala City pretty late at night. Not much was open at the airport except a few little kiosks and the currency exchange. Anxious to get to our location in Antigua, we hit the facilities and headed to our shuttle. Never once did we think to stop and get a bottle of water.

We traveled about an hour and a half- and were dropped off in a dark cobbled-alley and bid adiós by our driver. Looking around, nothing was open. Nothing. In fact, we weren’t quite certain we were even in the right location. We knew we were staying in a hostel, but there weren’t signs, and all around us were these alleys with locked gates. Finally, we located our place, Hostel Villa Esthela, and went inside.

The night-keeper showed us to our room, and gave us a quick tour of the facilities. Tired, cranky, and thirsty, we just wanted to brush our teeth and go to bed. We went to our room, and then hesitantly ventured out to see where we could get water to brush our teeth. It was quiet in the hostel, but there were a few groups of guys up and about. We headed for the kitchen, and found the jug of water. PAUSE. Has this water been purified? Shit, shit, shit. Literally shit. Both of us have a terrible fear of bowel issues while traveling. We came armed with a platoon of traveler’s diarrhea pills to combat what we didn’t want, and didn’t want the very first day because we decided to drink what may or may not be boiled water. Parched, and butt-mouthed, we desperately wanted some water to at least brush our teeth with. We finally decided to approach the guys in the hostel and ask about the water. Not only were we in a crappy predicament (pun intended), I only speak a little Spanish, and Katie’s French skills were no help in communicating that night. Thankfully, the guys’ broken English was  enough to communicate and find out that we probably shouldn’t drink the water, no stores were open, and if we get a glass, they would pour us enough of their water to be able to brush our teeth, and wet our whistles. Phew.

The next morning, we got up, got dressed, and headed to the tienda on the corner. We purchased a gallon of water, and two large water bottles to tote around with us. From that point forward, when we passed a tienda, and were the least bit thirsty, we bought water, and warded off the poop-monster for that portion of the trip.

Moral of the story? Get water in the airport. It doesn’t matter where you are traveling to, and how excellent the water may or may not be. Water might not be readily available, and that is one thing you don’t want to travel without. TSA makes it tricky, because taking water through security is a no-no. Buy after the security gates, and buy after you land. Trust me, you will be glad you did.


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