Garbage In, Garbage Out

What is it with us and garbage problems? First there was the Italian fiasco, in which we had to evade law enforcement to get rid of our garbage. And next, we got in trouble for throwing bread to the birds, because I’m apparently the only one on the planet who somehow missed out on how taboo it is to throw bread on the ground in a Muslim country.

Now we have this problem:

This lovely little pile is located just around the corner from our house. It’s the neighborhood dumpster/garbage mountain, which happens to be sandwiched between the 4-Star Miramar Hotel and the main entrance to world famous Hammamet Beach. Nice, huh? And sadly, the beach boasts a similar amount of trash, although it’s more spread out, and tends to get buried somewhat in sand.

What you can’t get from the picture is the incredible smell, discernible from a block away in any direction. As well as the colony of nocturnal cats that is getting fat and sassy off these decaying delicacies. Is ousted Tunisian President Ben Ali reading this and laughing at how poorly we get along without him? I hope not. Are we all planning to vote for whichever of the 94 new Tunisian political parties promises to solve our garbage problem? Well, maybe.

But in the meantime, we fortunately have a problem solver closer to home. Our friend Jo Ann, a fellow-American and long-time lover of Tunisia has jumped right in (figuratively only, fortunately) and organized a grassroots organization to clean up the mess.

We’re planning a clean-up day for the beach next month. In the meantime, we have this, which collects all the plastic bottles people use to wash their feet and then strew all over the entrance of the beach. Since this photo was taken yesterday afternoon, it has already been completely filled and emptied. Score 1 for Hammamet Propre!

Jo Ann (who is also an accomplished artist) organized an information/mural-painting day yesterday, which we were more than thrilled to attend.

Axa and Dominique were recruited to lend their artistic skills:

Dominique painted the world (with a separate sky and sun in each country).

And here’s Axa showing off her painting:

Here’s to a clean beach and neighborhood!

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