Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Appreciating the little things - water

I have a new appreciation for the meaning of drawing bath water. Linda had warned me to enjoy my bath at Chanter's Guest House, because there were water issues at Namwianga. I am very impressed with the continual upgrading to the systems that is ongoing at Namwianga. They were in the process of trying to get a larger pump to fill the water tanks without depleting the well. But as is often the case, there were obstacles - hidden obstacles that took several days to work out. There was plenty of "lake water" but not plentiful well water.

Henry and I have been campers most of our lives - so we were not too concerned. One morning Linda offered to draw us a bath (which would mean literally carrying water to the tub and heating water on the stove.) I told her that was not needed - spit baths work just fine.

The next morning she had already drawn water in 5 gallon buckets and the water was already hot. You added enough treated lake water to the hot water to get the temperature you desired. A 2 quart pitcher dipped into the warm water and poured over my hair and body felt SO good! It really does not take a lot of water to leave your body feeling refreshed and clean.

And before long, the mystery of the disappearing well water was solved. I could really appreciate the warm water coming from the shower head, but I was still frugal with my water usage knowing we were at the end of the dry season.

As we travelled around the villages - the electric pumps that provide the water at Namwianga are also a luxury. At a fishing village, the "well" was a -8 foot pit with a small amount of water at the bottom. We saw children help pump water at hand pumps near their village (also a blessing - the pumps although human powered were new!). We saw women hauling water on their heads as well as people getting water at the local high school to carry home. One of the more distant villages had to haul water with oxcarts from the river which was quite a distance from their village. I believe they are next in line to get a bore hole. I hope I remember for a long time what a privilege and blessing it is to be able to walk over to a faucet and get clean, pure water.

At the hotel in Cape Town I enjoyed a wonderful, long shower - and appreciated the luxury of a long hot shower. And then again after the long flights home, even the shower in the RV (we spent our first night in the RV - since the air conditioner in the house was out) felt like luxury living.

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