Monday, March 3, 2008

The day started hot, sunny, no wind and no water. Today was the start of day 2 without any water and low temperatures in the 70’s and high temperatures in the 90’s. My neighbour, w ho is on the city water line, had water, so he graciously let me and several others use some of his water. I filled up my water bottles, a 5 liter empty water jug and a small bucket. I was so hot and sweaty I had to find some way to clean up. I managed on 5 liters of water to take a warm shower and reuse the water so I could flush my toilet. The picture below shows how I managed to do it. I warmed up some of the water in the electric tea kettle. Then mixed a little of it with cold water in the small bucket so I could wash up and then mixed the remainder of it with the remainder of the cold water in the round red dish pan and poured it over me to rinse me off. I stood in the purple laundry tub so that I could reuse the water to flush my toilet. I didn’t try to wash my hair, but the Swazi-Navy shower was great. I did feel like a different person. The exercise left me thankful that I had endured the water shortage and subsequent water rationing during the 70’s in California. I was also thankful that my Navy father who was used to taking showers with little water while on board ships and my thrifty mother complied with the water rationing and found ways to keep her beautiful roses, fuchsias blooming and their lawn green and growing all using recycled water. I think Dad would be proud of me.

Come to find out there was something wrong with the pump. Bethuel, a member of St. Paul’s and the buildings steward, came and talked about putting my apartment/cottage on city water so that when the bore hole failed, I could switch a lever over to city water and continue to have water. (You see, no water source in Swaziland is fail safe.) It is a great idea and I am so grateful, however, that isn’t a solution for the others who lived here or for the primary school, high school or the church and parsonage. And I couldn’t be happy about that. I asked Bethuel what it would take to resolve the water situation so that it is more reliable and equitable for everyone. We talked about various solutions such as drilling one or two additional bore holes and/or putting the other residents of the teacher’s housing on city water. He is going to bring it up at the Steward’s meeting and pull together the resources to identify and then cost a better solution for all. I will be looking for funds to accomplish this task and will update the blog when we have a cost projection. Funds towards this project can be sent through FUMC, P.O. Box 1448; Round Rock, Texas 78680. Write Swaziland Water on the memo line of the check.

After discussing the water situation with Bethuel, Siphiwe and I went to town to run some errands. On the way we discovered my car had a very flat tire. Great. I have a spare tire, but of course I don’t have a jack. So we had no choice but to drive the car to town to a place that fixes flat tires. This ended up being a very busy place. You basically pull up under an overhang to a garage and someone comes out takes off the tires, inspects it, fixes it and puts it back on the car. No waiting room. Waiting, my turn took the most time – maybe 10 minutes. Within 20 minutes the tire was back on the vehicle and we were on or way. (I hope it lasts!) And the price was amazing – R10 which is equal to about $1.45! What a deal.

I had a couple of meetings at the church in the afternoon and evening. When I got back I have water. I am praying it lasts for awhile but keeping very mindful that even though I have water again, I still need to stay focused on conserving as much as I can. The Swazi-Navy shower will go away until the next time though. I’m not that good a steward of this precious resource.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Water, what a precious resource that we take for granted here in the USA. I was running water to do my dishes the other day and then thought of your situation in Swaziland and turned off the faucet, thinking how wasteful I am a lot of the time. Glad you could enjoy a "Navy" shower, and I pray that you and your community will soon have a regular water source.