Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Don't drink the water

So I went to the bathroom yesterday afternoon, washed my hands, and walked to my room to get my stuff ready to leave. I hadn't made it as far as my room when there was a hurried banging on our suite door. I answered it, thinking it was odd that anyone would knock, and in such a manner at that. Turns out it was an RA (residential assistant--they're required to knock before entering) spreading the word not to even think about water. Our campus water supply had been contaminated by the constant construction. They'd accidentally mixed our potable supply with our sewage. Don't drink, shower, wash hands, brush teeth...basically unless it involves flushing, don't use a drop of water. Of course I found this disturbing since I'd just washed my hands. I dug out the hand sanitizer I was so fond of when I worked in the after school care program. I was off to dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in three months, so I wasn't all that worried about things (although I did make sure to wash my hands again before I even thought about eating, or drinking for that matter). I figured this would be a quick fix and things would be back to normal by the time I got home. Well, 5 hours later brought no change so we dug out bottled water to brush our teeth and went to bed dirty.

Walking around campus this morning was interesting. All the girls have their hair up, can't imagine why. There are signs all over campus and all conversations are revolving around the uncleanliness of our bodies. There's no estimate as to when we'll have our safe water supply back. The woman I'm working for (basically a nanny gig) told me I was more than welcome to use her shower. I think I'll be popping over there before I have to pick up her daughter from school. Greasy hair, sticky skin, and furry legs....hmmmm yum!


  1. Sounds like me when I was in SENEGAL ! (I showered every 2 days, and shaved only when my boyfriend came over for a visit - cold water will do that to you!)

    I guess it gives you a preview of living in a 3rd world country !

    Hang in there, you'll be back in good'ol FL in no time !

  2. Yeah, it was about the same in the Dominican Republic. I showered most days, but washing my hair and shaving were a WHOLE different story.

    Although nothing beats when I was on Outward Bound and didn't shower/shave/use any cleanly products (e.g., soap, deodorant) for 25 days while we were on a Longboat in the Puget Sound and backpacking through the Northern Cascades. Talk about grody!!