Saturday, October 30, 2010

tomorrow is my shower day

I've gotten used to showering about every 6 or 7 days here. In Tanzania we quickly became aware of the reality of water issues in East Africa. We talked to the water board for the villages in the Rhotia area, helped our homestay families fetch their 2 buckets of water for the day, and experienced numerous hours when the water wasn't running in camp. It was a regular occurrence to see the staff filling the tanks of water from trucks that came to camp from a town about 30 minutes away, and realized how lucky this set-up was. In Kenya, there is a bore hole to supply water from Kilimanjaro so we probably don't need to be quite as mindful of water use, but I think the consensus is that we will keep up our efforts to conserve water, as we are now so aware of how little most East Africans can access each day. If we can live in close quarters with 27 other people who take showering as seriously as the tooth fairy, I think people in the US can manage to shower less as well. Especially when we are in semi-arid Africa! (just to clarify - just because I only take a shower once a week doesn't mean I never otherwise wash - wash cloths and baby wipes are effective, fast, and save tons of water)

I could talk for a lot longer on water issues in Africa, but instead I will just point towards an article we saw in the NY Times that inspired this rant.

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