Saturday, July 3, 2010

Water...Where Are You?

I’ve almost always lived near the ocean or a large enough body of water that can pretend to be the ocean (the Great Lakes). Even though I didn’t come into contact with this ocean water every day, I think its proximity has added to my world view that water is dependable and will always be there when you need it. Being in Ghana has not so subtly snapped that world view in half.

I really enjoy being clean. While I don’t have a can of Lysol within arm’s reach around my apartment to kill of germs, I do take really long showers and relish the feeling of water at the perfect temperature and pressure falling down on me. Unlike those who sing in the shower, I dance in the shower!

It is no overstatement to say that I think I’ve hit my first low point of my stay…I’ve missed my first shower. I’ve learned to suck it up and take cold showers, but no shower? After spending an entire day running around St. Martin’s Hospital in Agroyesum going to the market for cake and cookie ingredients, doing laundry, and playing catch with the twins so that they would stop terrorizing me while I tried to make my cupcakes, I had done my fair share of sweating and was really looking forward to my cold shower in the evening. After almost three weeks in Agroyesum, having the water disappear on you was no longer a surprise. It actually seems to happen a lot more often while I’m in Kumasi over the weekends. But, it’s never gone for long and is always there when I need it. But, when I stepped into the shower and turned the knob, all I heard was a sputter and NO WATER APPEARED!

I brushed this off, confident that the water would come back within the hour. It did not. I stayed up much longer than I should have waiting for my shower since I had to be up at 5AM to travel to my next district hospital. When I was finally too tired to stay up any longer, I ended up waking up every hour and pointed my flashlight at the sink to see if it had started dripping (a sure sign that the water was back). It never came back. Because I did laundry the previous morning, I forgot to refill my back-up water buckets, so I couldn’t even take a dreaded bucket shower! At 5AM, I did the best I could with some wet wipes to feel clean and hoped that my OFF spray would be strong enough to cover any hint of stinky.

This is horrible. I caught up with my dad and asked how it was that he and my family managed during Hurricane Irene that knocked the power out for over two weeks. He simply said that the water was fine. It was just electricity that went missing. It’s nearing the end of the day now and I’m now praying to all higher powers in the universe that there will be water when I get to Kumasi. If not, who knows what kind of depression I will fall into!

Starting today, I will now keep track of the number of showers I have missed in Ghana.

1 comment:

  1. Are you careful about how you consume water as a result of experiencing water shortage?
    And why is the bucket shower dreaded?