Sunday, September 10, 2006

What did YOU do last night?

I woke up this morning not able to move my arms and so confused as to why that was the case. Then I remembered the events of yesterday…

I wish I would have had a camera to capture it…but due to the urgency of the moment, my words will have to suffice.

Running water has become something of the past…when we (the housemates and I) think about it, we come to the conclusion that there was probably water last Tuesday or Wednesday, but has been MIA since. We began to look at our pila (large concrete container of water that resides outside of our house) and wonder how the water would sustain the six of us for very long. We use that water to do our dishes, laundry, take bucket showers, and flush our toilet. So we cut out showers and laundry, using the water only for dishes and flushing the toilet. It was still looking pretty low…and our state of filth was wearing on all of us. Probably the longest that I’ve ever gone without at least washing my hair (my scalp was starting to itch something terrible!). By accident I wore my flip flops to the store instead of my chacos and the dirt and dust of the road flipped back up onto my legs sticking to the sweat. On Friday it was rumored to be out for three more days. We hoped and prayed for rain…but nothing. We woke up Saturday disgusted with ourselves and smelling pretty darn nasty. We tried to get things done regardless—planning for school and making lunch together. We were going to try to make some “grilled cheese” using some quesillo—not quite cheddar J and Emily went down the road to the store to get a few tomatoes for us to cut up to stick in our grilled cheese sandwiches. Had we not decided to get some tomatoes we might have missed this momentous event! Emily throws open the gate to our house and yells, “WATER! DROP EVERYTHING! GET THE BUCKETS!” In the middle of our cheese grilling we frantically grabbed every bucket we could find and went stumbling out to the street where people are swarming from every direction carrying every bucket in their possession and gravitating to the beautiful stream of water being emitted from the back of the truck. We quickly joined the crowd, filled our buckets, waddled back up the stairs to our house and poured the water into the pila before going back for another round. I can’t count exactly how many five gallon buckets of water I lugged from the truck and lifted to pour into the pila--enough to leave my arms trembling and my housemates and I with sweat dripping off of our bodies. When the truck finally ran out of water I took a deep breath and joined the crowd of people waving gratefully goodbye. It was worth all of the hard work knowing that our water supply was being slightly replenished. But disappointingly, not enough for anyone to be able to take a bucket shower.

We were still hoping for rain so we lined the buckets up outside in the backyard. Anna, Emily and I were just settling in to watch Spanglish to lift our spirits when we heard the first rumble. The power went first. In the pitch black of our house we frantically started to strip off the sweaty clothes and feel around for our bathing suits. We carefully and quickly exited the house carrying towels, shampoo, razors, soap, loofahs, the works! We set them carefully under the protection of the sheet metal overhang and stood in the darkness in our bathing suits (and birthday suits!) waiting for the rain. The wind and small drops teased us for a few minutes, and while it never rained with enough force to wash the shampoo out of our hair, soon it began to rain hard enough for a steady stream to run down the metal overhand and out of the gutter. It came out of the gutter with better water pressure than our normal shower (when it is working)!!!! We whooped and cheered, danced around and began to bathe. We took turns rinsing and then worked to fill the pila to the max. I can say with full certainty that I have not been cleaner or colder since coming to Honduras. I was able to get the dirt from beneath my fingernails and sit down to scrub my daily mistreated feet. We decided to just go to bed after the showers around 9:30 and it was a beautiful sound when the power came on minutes after crawling into bed and we could turn on the fan.


3 Comments:

Blogger hooshotjr said...

Ok, lack of water reminds me of Jamaica...Remember when Jenn got SOOOO constipated and when she finally was able to "do business" the water cut out and she couldn't flush?! Good times! You missed the wonder of 4 people sleeping on a double mattress every night. Four sweaty, exhausted people...one of whom snores, drools, and flops like a fish in her sleep. It's amazing I still have friends. :D I was not the most popular girl that trip. I think that award goes to Alissa as she WASHED OUR CLOTHES by hand on the balcony.

6:00 PM  
Blogger alissa (now) edwards said...

Yeah for water!!!!Yeah for water!!!!Yeah for water!!!! I'm glad the rain made it to you, we have had rain for the last several days, happy to share. Hurrah for laundry by bucket, I did some by bathtub the other day, that was fun, and I was so thinking of you.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Rachel Hebden said...

i love reading your adventures...and i do read them. :) i'm so glad your water is back. :)

8:15 PM  

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