Ok so a few months back I was asked to write about my water situation since I don’t have running water. I know crazy right. Honestly, I don’t even notice. (except when my buckets are empty and I don’t have a magical faucet that is always ready to dispense way more water than I need.) And well I figured I’d get around to that so H2o is what’s happening in this post.
Instead of a sugar daddy I have a water mama. She brings me 60 liters of water at a time and the going rate for someone to deliver is 30 bob (a little more than 30 cents.) She works at the school near my house, which is convenient for me to tell her when I need more water when school is in session. However, when school is on break sometimes I have to go looking for her and sometimes to no avail. So I have to be even more careful with my water usage. A couple months ago there was a school strike making it difficult to find her and I had to choose between bathing or washing dishes. This is a regular occurrence. Definitely not an issue I ever had to think about in the States. Most weeks I can get by with 60 liters of water. And this is for drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning, washing my hands, and doing laundry. The UN states that every person needs 20 liters of water a day. That would be 140 a week. So I am doing more than my part to conserve.
And now it is picture time.
This is where I store my water.
This is how I do my laundry.
After I do laundry I use that water to mop. When I first got to Kenya I couldn’t do laundry without getting bloody knuckles. Those days are long in the past. Jeans and sheets are let’s just say a pain to wash. I will never again complain about having to switch my clothes from the washing MACHINE to the DRYER. Ahhh fresh warm clothes from the dryer.
Getting water from the pump.
Every time I go to the well or any water source I always get laughed at. Like hey look at this white girl and she can’t even carry 20 liters on her head. Seriously I have had this conversation a thousand and ten times of why I can’t carry 20 liters on my head. They don’t understand that because I haven’t been doing this since I was 3 that it will snap my neck. Because I can’t perform this task they think I’m weak and they find it quite amusing. It really is quite impressive though, sometimes I will see a mama with 20 liters on her head and then carrying 10 liters. The water pumps are crazy busy in the mornings and when the sun is going down. There is almost always a line to get water during those times since it’s not as hot.
Up until 5 months ago I was using PUR packets to purify my water. That consisted of dumping chemicals in my water, stirring 5 minutes, waiting another 5, then using a funnel and handkerchief to keep out all the dirt and gunk, then waiting another 20 minutes till I could drink it. See for yourself this is what was pulled out of my water.
Now I use a lifestraw. You dump water in and let it filter down and drip into a bottle and it is ready for drinking… so much easier and much less time and effort. The only thing is it takes about 7 minutes to fill a liter so I always start doing something else around the house and forget about it only to come back to water on my floor. Which is a complete waste. So that means its time to mop. I’ve gotten better about how much water I pour in and have perfect pours these days. Yeah me!
Sometimes when it rains really hard I’ll take my buckets and set them under the edge of my roof to catch water and it’s free! The short rainy season is back. Thank goodness. Rain makes it so much easier for me to have access to water. I was able to catch 100 liters today after work.
My dishes and I will both be clean this week!
Bless the rains down in Africa.
Ya, that pretty much sums up water for me.