24 September 2005

No hay agua


We never realize the importance of such simple but important substances in our lives. Substances such as water. You know the saying that you never miss de water till de well runs dry, well our well drying out and we missing de water in a bad way. Let me explain. Here in Arepaland, the edificios (buildings) collect their water in storage tanks as it comes from the main line. When the main line is shut off for whatever reason, the storage tank is to have enough water to service the building for a period of time, probably about 2 days. Usually in the dry season which is coming upon us by next month, the city usually rations the water, and you know on which days and what times you'll have water. So residents are prepared with smaller water tanks in their Apts or just huge barrels/tubs to collect water.

For us, we have two huge literally garbage pails, used soley for water collection and a smaller one. We pretty much keep water in the smaller one year round as you never know at times when you'll turn the taps and get nothing. Well last week, we got a sign in the elevator that they will be doing some maintenance to the main tank to the building and we'll be out of water this weekend. sin agua viernes, sin agua sabado ( no water Friday to Saturday). So we did all the laundry, clean the house, all the water necessary chores. We filled one of our pails, (incidentially, we had just empitied the smaller pail to clean it and refill it, but didn't) took our showers on Thursday night and thought we were set. two days without water, not our choice of spending the weekend, but we can live, we have enough water in the one big pail to get a quick fresh and flush the one toilet we'll use. or so we thought.

By yesterday we took our bird baths and do our toilet business and flushed. We realized that by the end of the day, the water tank is down to about half. huummm... for some reason as we rode the elevator down and read the notice again, it say que no habrá agua en todos los días de viernes hasta domingo (no water atall Friday to Sunday) it also goes on to read that depending on how the work progress we might get water back on Sunday night or maybe Monday morning. What?? yuh serious, we ein getting water till maybe Mundee morning and is two hard back people in de house dat need tuh bade and do toilet things and we onlee got half tub ah water...maybe bout 10 gallons if summuch??? wha dem can't be serious...dem fuh real, nuh water fuh three whole days...chuuppsseee..

So de hubby and I scrambling now, we gotta figure out how tuh conserve wha lil water we got, plus maintain we personal hygeine and de sanitary conditions in de house. things tight yuh. Well we gine gotta work out something. We went out to eat last night as usual, but when we finished eating and I went to the restroom, I capitalized on the opportunity to washed the makeup off my face and other things and was on my way home. Boy talk about taking advantage of a public restroom... .huuummm. Went out to breakfast this morning and put the restroom to use again. Used as little water possible today except for our bird baths and even then the water was less than yesterday. Yes, ,we know that we could go to our friend across the way and shower, but cha..de hubby and I come from de grinds, we how how to manage.

Last look into the pail, we still have enough for two bird baths tomorrow and a flush. Boy but we never really realize how important the use of water is in your life and how much of it we use and probably waste. But this is bringing back a lot of the good old days of growing up when you didn't have running water in your house. Oh many of you don't know what I'm talking about?, yuh don't wha it is to catch water, and walk with it on top yuh head tuh yuh house or take a bath in a small basin or bucket in de back yard....shucks..that's a whole other post altogether. The perils and joys of growing up poor in the Caribbean.....

9 comments:

smallislandgirl said...

Been there done that so I can relate one thing we caribbean people can do is adapt.
Thanks for the kind words on my blog.

Abeni said...

Even one day without water is annoying.Times like those make you realise how vital the thing is.

Mad Bull said...

I read somewhere that billions of the world's women will spend at least one third of their lives doing just that, hauling water to their homes! Thats pretty messed up, innit?

Inside Man said...

boy I remember the good ol days when you wake in the morning and either A) the water don't work or B) their was not hot water in the middle of the winter.

Shotta M said...

I've never had problems with water, but this post makes me appreciate the importance of some of the things I take for granted.

Stunner said...

I remember those days when I was little and living in the country. I used to go to the spring to catch water. Sometimes we used to catch janga (shrimp), baby ones mostly an sometimes big ones as well as crayfish. Wasn't for long though, we got piped water about 2 years after that.

When water is gone though, tha's when you really see how much you depend on it.

Scratchie said...

I've had a few of those waterless days as well. You learn to adapt and make it work.

Sunshine said...

Hi Campfyah-I know what you must be going through. It's not easy being without water but you and hubby seem to know what you're doing.

Dr. D. said...

Bwoy...de no WATA bizniz ruff. I have experienced it twice...once after Gilbert de odda after Ivan. Hurricanes and what they do to us after they pass, suck big time.

Remember after Gilbert when I really wanted a shower, had a heavy shower o rain one afternoon. Well, I man went out unda the cherry tree inna de backyard wid me washrag, soap and towel, drop underwear (tuff if neighbours did see and vex) and turned on the 'shower' by shaking the cherry tree. Soaped up, and washed off under the 'shower'. It was far better than than the little ice cream buket thing.

Electricity is jus icing on de cake after the water.