Monday, February 9, 2015

A Little Helpful Dose

This past month we went over 2 weeks without the city turning on the water to our neighborhood. The transformer blew up that runs the pump connected to the well for this area. The town normally turns the water on twice a day for a couple hours. Everyone around here uses an outdoor sink with a cistern in the center that probably holds about 15 gallons. They usually just leave the facet on all the time and if water overflows it isn't a big deal since it is outside, but that way they never miss an opportunity to fill up their cistern when the water comes on. (This cultural trait of always leaving faucets on has flooded things in our life more than once, haha!) If someone has a little more money they have an additional barrel that they keep full for incidences like this one!

Our neighborhood looked like the photo above for awhile. After about a week, the town started hiring a water truck to come around and fill up everyone's buckets about ever other day or so. People kept their front yards lined with every empty bucket they could find. The one above even put their wheel barrel out there.
 We have a spare cistern (110 gal), that is 1/6 of the size of the one attached to our house. In our world a spare cistern gets used a lot! Plus we had a 55 gal barrel. The first week Jimmy was driving to a well and filling up this spare cistern in the back of his truck when we would run low. Just to put it in perspective, the average family of 4 in the States uses almost 400 gallons of water a day. Jimmy was sharing this water with our neighbors too because they don't have pickups to go get water, let alone a large cistern to put it in. Are you seeing how hard it is to complain in this country?! Once you leave your gate, you look around and can't really say anything. Even silent I feel kind of like a spoiled brat for getting frustrated. Petén is like an instant cure for the grumbles, just go outside and let reality slap you around a little bit.
{Jimmy would pump the water from outside into our house cistern.}
So Jimmy was burning hours on this water situation, hours that he did not have because it was going on the same time as the new students were arriving and classes were starting. One Saturday he made several trips right in a row so that I could catch up on laundry. See... I am spoiled. 

The power company would have immediately been able to come and fix the problem, but the town was several months behind paying the power bill. Then to fix the problem they would have to purchase a new transformer plus wire. Once I heard that, I figured it would be months until we had water again. How were they going to get that money?

Then one day Jimmy got a call asking if he would help pay for the new transformer and wire. We have been paying our bill, but we didn't want to set a precedent that we would pay to fix problems, so Jimmy said "no". So then I REALLY thought this situation was hopeless.

And then the day after the phone call, SURPRISE the water came back on. I have no idea how, but I am SUPER thankful that we have water again. Each time I do laundry I remember just how thankful I am! Water makes me smile just looking at it coming out of the tap. 

Poor Silas. I had been on him about flushing the potty for that last several months and he was getting really good about it, until this water situation. Each time he would flush we would all yell, "NOOOO!" So here we go again, from scratch!

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