Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Precious Water

A few days ago, we ran out of water.

The town water had been shut off for two days, and we didn't know, and then all of a sudden our tank was dry.

We still had our rain water tank,

but Alice told me it was "smelling."

(I have no doubt that she was right.)

We interrupt this story for an important message from our sponsors:

*This week, we had some plumbing work done, and the workers asked if they could drain the rain water tank to put a new valve on it.

I reluctantly agreed.

I hated to get rid of such a precious water supply, even if it was "smelling."

It was a smart decision.

Collins and Dennis (my new best friends) not only replaced the valve, but Collins crawled in and cleaned the tank.

It went from this

to no time.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

When we had run out of water a few days ago, Kylie watched (and helped) as I washed dishes outside in basins, using the rain water (before the tank was cleaned). And the whole family had to go outside several times a day to wash hands. And we filled up basins to wash feet before bedtime (I was going to give it at least one day before I started taking bucket showers). And Doug carried jerry cans of water into the house to flush toilets. And anything else you might need water for.

(On a side note, I have a chain link fence separating me from the Sudanese family next door who wash dishes and clothes outside EVERY day. They really got a kick out of seeing me wash dishes outside. I don't know what they think I do when I'm inside, but I'm sure they never imagined that I'm actually cooking, washing clothes, and washing dishes just like they are.

As I was washing my two wooden cutting boards, the little girl next door who was staring at me, said, "Is that your plate?" I politely said, "No," but I didn't try to explain what a cutting board was. Her English isn't too good. My Lugbara is horrible. And I can't speak Arabic. So there.)

Ok - back to story...

My kids also know what no town water means for many other people.

Long lines at the bore holes.

I'm not sure completely how this system works. Alice did share once that she puts old jerry cans with holes in line for her so that no one will steal them since they are "spoiled." My question is, "If you live far away, how do you know when it's your 'turn' at the water pump?"

Back to Kylie.

It started raining one day, and Kylie was so sad that all the rain water was going to "waste," as she called it. So she asked to borrow my biggest basin, and she gathered some of her pretend cooking gear, and she set it all out to catch water

The next morning, she dutifully took several trips back and forth to the water filter in our kitchen.

She was so proud and I was so proud of her and her resourcefulness.

She continued to fill our water filter throughout the day as we needed it.

*Everyone said my kids would learn so much by living here. And even though I can't put my finger on the lessons they are learning, they are indeed learning something.


Megan said...

this is beautiful. She is growing more lovely by the day ;)

Brandy said...

What a fun post. Love your kids! They do learn SO much! Yay for clean water tanks!