agua (30 dpc day 4)

day 4: a picture of your shower

In yesterday’s post I talked about the many ways in which we, the three divas of  Koitdo, reuse, repurpose, recycle, and otherwise throw out our trash. In the  same vein today I want to share another, “eco,” way we reuse perhaps the most  valuable resource on our planet: water.

In my life in the states, I contend, it was incredibly easy to forget how  accessible the water is. Free water spews from fountains in every public place,  water is free in restaurants, one can enjoy a luxurious hot shower; there’s  abundant water for doing the dishes, cooking, brushing your teeth, cleaning  the floors… I could go on. With clean and hygienic water available everywhere I  go whilst in the US it is all to understandably easy to forget what a precious  commodity- and unbelievable treasure- it is.

When you can not drink the tap water, live in a semi-arid climate, and subsist at the mercy of finicky town water, you learn pretty quickly what a gift it is. As I mentioned yesterday, we filter and boil all of the water we drink from the tap (stay tuned for a future post). But for everything else (showers, brushing teeth, laundry, cleaning…) we use tap water- and reuse it, and reuse it.

This is done with grey water. As you can see from this picture, we are lucky enough to have a real shower head and a real shower stall!  Already a luxury round these parts. But let me tell you, the luxury ends with the shower head.

The water with which we must scrub the persistant desert dirt off our bodies with is unbelievably, should-be-illegally, freezing cold. Not a little chilly, not mildly-uncomfortable-but-lukewarm, but right-out-of-a-melting-glacier biting cold. My showers consist primarily of chattering teeth (no, literally, I wish I was exaggerating) and scrubbing as fast as possible so as to leap into the towel with Godspeed.

A friend once told me a cold shower is good for your health, reinvigorating, and rejuvenating especially during times of high stress.

To hell with that. I feel alive after every shower because, well, my knees are knocking so bad I can hardly stand up and frequently find myself grabbing for my inhaler as the breath has been frozen in my lungs. I am invigorated enough to get dressed so quickly I put to shame every Broadway quick-changing fiend. It’s like I crawled out of a Jack London tale, desperate for a wolf’s carcass to curl up inside of, soaking in what little warmth is left in the Yukon tundra.

The best showers are when I wait too long to bathe, and the solar power as gone kaput for the evening. Then I’m enacting this entire charade of reaching blindly for a towel to quell the shivers by candlelight. That’s especially fun.

Regardless of our excruciating goose bump-age and frigid cleanliness, we are still determined to maximize our use of the water. If you look at the floor of the shower, you’ll notice a blue circular bin. We use this to collect grey water: the sudsy run off water collected post-washing (we also collect the same thing in our sink after washing hands and brushing teeth). This water we then use for our toilet to flush stuff down, as the running water in the toilet has stopped working long ago. It is an excellent method, in my opinion, because there really is no need for clean water to be used in flushing down your…bodily wastes.

Karamoja is also a semi-arid place to be and, as aforementioned, Kotido itself is a very poor area. How could we not, then, reuse such an important and prized resource?

current jam: “down to the river to pray” allison krauss

best thing in my life right now: my new skirt! we’ve befriended an excellent tailor in town. prepare to be ousted, 7 dresses from ghana…

fantas consumed: 6

last film watched:

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