Eddy and Nadja’s house seems luxurious compared to what we imagined it would be. However, there are some things that are very African . . . We boil water every day and fill our large water jugs, then refrigerate them. This becomes our drinking water. There is no washer or dryer. Le stayed home today to get well. She has been sick since we left. Somehow, the stress of getting up early and seeing patients and teaching clinical didactic was making her worse. And somehow, doing laundry was exactly what she needed. Here she is washing the clothes outside today. She went and bought some rope to make a line dryer. The only problem is that a couple hours later, we had to bring all the wet clothes in the house because the weather suddenly turned rainy and windy with thunder. (Le specifically wanted me to put these pictures in for all to see.)
The other thing we deal with . . . pretty much every day the water and electricity temporarily go out. We ate dinner by candlelight tonight. It was kind of funny to have Catherine tell her story and just as she hit her punchline, the lights turned back on. Every faucet leaks. Eddy and Nadja have buckets under them to catch the water. We hear the drip drip drip of the shower all night long as it drips into a large basin. It is actually handy since we often have no running water, in which case we use the water in the basin for bathing.
This picture shows a portion of the bathroom. There is a shower, which by the way, even when the water is running, the shower is not much more than a trickle. The holding tank hanging on the wall is the hot water tank. It doesn’t work, so every shower is COLD. The cold water helps conserve water because you sure make it a quick shower!
The orange thing you see at the bottom of the screen is the basin into which the shower water drips. It is about two feet in diameter. Notice also that there is no shower curtain. Water gets everywhere, but it is a cement floor, so it is not a problem. Besides, it evaporates quickly.