It is a fairly common hardship here - to be without either cold or hot water - or without water at all. “They” turn it off for a couple of hours, days, and in the summer, for a couple of months. “They” are some abstract Ministry of Water or maybe just some guy in a camouflage winter jacket and dirty boots. “They” seem to care-less about who has a family to feed, children to bath, clothes to wash.
We learn to deal with it.
Last week we were without cold running water for 5 days.
“How does the lack of cold running water in your home effect your everyday life, D’Anna?” you might ask.
Well, let me tell you.
There is the water that is needed for drinking, cooking, and brushing teeth.
This water has to be bought. We can’t use cooled hot water because our hot water is filled with red particles (not sure if it is just dirt or minerals). In short, the hot water is just plain dirty and tastes terrible. No one should ever have to drink the stuff!
There is the taking of a bath.
This can be accomplished with some forethought and creativity.
First, you fill a large bucket with the hot (depending on the time of day, this can actually be scalding hot) water.
Next, wait half an hour or so until it cools.
Get your body ready to bathe.
Squat down in the tub - DON’T SIT- unless you have prepared the tub with efficient amounts of the scalding water.
Grab your favorite water scoop
Poor the warm water over yourself.
Take a “scrubby” with lots of soap and soap yourself down really good.
With the same scoop, rinse yourself well.
If you don’t rinse your scoop or your body correctly (like stand over the big tub as you rinse so that the soapy water actually enters the rinse water) you will end up rinsing with soapy water and will find yourself a little soapy as you exit the tub.
“Real “ Shower Option
There is another option that I just recently discovered. If you want to take a “real” shower with only warm water, you can do it! Pay close attention to when your neighbors are home and take showers. (You can do this by listening to the pipes.) Most are at work during the day . . . so, if you plan to shower at around 11- Noon, you might be able! Here’s the secret: Get in, turn on the water and spray yourself down. Turn off the water. Soap your body, shampoo your hair. Turn on the water again and rinse everything off.
WHOO HOO! I did this last week a couple of times and had just enough warm water to take a 3-4 min shower!
Then, of course, there is the going to the “loo. “
Did you know that your toilet will flush only if you have the cold water turned on in your house?
If you had asked me this question about 12 yrs. ago, I’m not sure I could have answered it! I had no idea about where what water went and why. But, now I know!
When the cold water is off - you must keep a bucket of hot water next to the toilet. There will be no flushing from the tank - you have to pour the water yourself into the bowl.
This keeps your bowl semi-clean (unless your are relentless and go back for more and more buckets of water . . . which I have been known to do on more than one occasion.)
So, you can count on this basket's business growing and over-flowing to unbelievable and un-manageable proportions.
That, my dear friends, is life without cold water.
I am praying for our Haitian friends . . . and wondering if they have water at all. . .