hitting close to home

About halfway through our research in Santiago, working in the campamentos, I realized something. While our research subject seemed so far removed from our daily reality, in a different country and a different language, it was not quite as foreign to me as I may have thought.
My sister recently moved to Hilo, Hawaii where she has been building a house with her partner. The catch? The house is located down a 3 mile dirt road, about a 45 minute drive from any semblance of civilization. Like the families I had been meeting with all week, she too has no running water, no electricity and no gas. Although this is by choice and not necessity, she encounters many of the same challenges as the families in the campamentos.
Luckily, the rainfall in Hawaii provides a constant, free water source, but harnessing it is another problem altogether. She collects water on her roof to provide pressure for a shower, uses a composting toilet system that is about as private as those we saw in Santiago and has to purchase drinking water via trips into town.
I will keep you updated on her new lifestyle and continue exploring the differences, similarities and creative solutions she encounters along the way!


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