When you start to have water issues is when you start to miss home and the conveniences of “modern life”. I’ve already dealt with no electricity, so it makes sense on my one week benchmark back in the country to have no water.
The girls from the shelter had come over to help me clean, and since there was no running water, they used my filtered water for cleaning. I wasn’t too worried because I was used to in that part of Apia the water going out from 5 at night until the next morning, and since it was morning, I figured the water would be back on. By the end of the cleaning session I was left with about one bottle of water….. and the water didn’t look like it was going to turn on all day! Thirsty, irritated and headachy I went to bed.
I was awakened at two in the morning to the sound of a downpour. I quickly jumped out of bed, grabbed any bucket, pot, bowl, container-basically anything that I could get my hand on that could collect water and ran outside. I began running back and forth to my water filter with these pots. I then went to filling up the toilet tank, which desperately needed water after so many people in the house using it without. (Think porter potty, that’s the smell that was taking over.) I continued running around with the rain until about 4 am. When the rain ceased, and I left my pots out there in case it started up again.
The next day I awoke, expecting the tap to be on, and it wasn’t. I also realized out of the two bathrooms in my house (one toilet doesn’t work and the other did), the person who is fixing my house, tried fixing the toilet that worked…..and now I have two broken toilets, The water leaks from the toilet, and so my swimming pool moved from the kitchen to the bathroom.
I went about my day finished cleaning the house, and moving the things from the room I moved into to a spare room so they can continue renovating the house. I stopped for a break to talk to a few of my group members on the phone (I miss my group 82 family!) and had to hang up on one of them when I heard the rain start up again.
Finally in the afternoon, the water turned on again. It was nice to not have to worry about wasting whatever little water I had left on things like washing dishes, doing bucket laundry, and showering.
It is strange because water is something you always take for granted. Even in Savaii, while I was to the piped water being shut off for periods of time, we always had the water tank with our collected rainwater to get us by. Now, if my water shuts off, I am screwed if I didn’t save up enough water.
People often say that Apia is the easier life than rural living, based on water quality, I so far don’t agree.