I got big jugs. No, not those kinds of jugs. Obviously. I have big jugs of water that I carry up a steep hill and then down again — like, a mile total — every morning, in this land of cul de sacs and homeowners associations.

I start with two gallon jugs, which weigh 17 pounds together, and think it will be easy. But halfway up the hill I feel like the muscles on my forearms are gonna pull off my bones like Buffalo chicken wings. So. Much. Pain. I have to stop at every mailbox.

My God, I think to myself, if I can’t do this, how will I do Africa? In the fall, I am scheduled to leave for the Peace Corps in Uganda as an agribusiness specialist — working with farmers and families — and I’ll need to carry water there. For three miles. Every single day. …


Pattie Baker

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