Life revolves around water

The past few weeks have been packed full of information and knowledge from PC. There was stress all around from the many assignments that were due this past week. We have gotten through the toughest part of training (it seems) according to our ten-week schedule. We are now half way through training and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Before leaving, I was always told that training will be the hardest part of my PC service. That stands true so far. This week we get our site placements, then we visit our site for a week, and then we come back and only have two weeks until Swear In. The language is coming along great. I feel very integrated into my community and I can have somewhat casual conversations with Basotho that I run into.

IMG_4569Sundays are a glimpse into how slow I believe life will be once I move to my own site on August 14. This morning I woke up and felt that I had wasted most of the day because it was already 8am. I jumped out of bed and got a start on my Sunday tasks. For me, Sundays are my cleaning day. I gathered my canisters and off I went to the water pump. I thought this would take 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops. 45 minutes later, I was rolling the wheelbarrow back down the hill to my house with filled buckets of water for the week. What one never knows is how many people will be at the pump. Luckily, there was only one abuti there with me named Thabo.

We talked while we took turns filling our canisters in between the dry moments where we had to wait for a few minutes for more water to come. He is really intelligent and he told me his favorite subject was science. This was surprising to me since most kids just stare at me when I ask that question. I immediately saw that this kid has a bright future ahead of him. He told me he loves biology and chemistry and he said physics was difficult for him. I couldn’t have agreed with him more. In a few years he hopes to attend college and then become a science teacher. This was my exact plan when I was in grade 11 so I saw a lot of myself in this kid.

I finished filling my last bucket and said bye to him as I needed to get back home because I had forgotten I left water to boil. I usually clean my shoes because they get caked in red dirt throughout the week. I dust and then sweep my floor. I then washed my clothes. It was 11am by the time I was done with all this. If I were back home, all of this would have taken an hour at most. I boiled and mixed cold water to get a comfortable temperature for my bath. I think everyone has their own method for bathing, but mine is pretty simple, I think. I lean my head over my bucket and wash my hair, then I squat in my bucket and use a pitcher to rinse with. My method is a little different on Sundays in that I try to splash as much as possible so I can then use that soapy water to mop my floor. This is me going green and recycling water. After all that, I clean my pee-bucket and then I cook myself lunch around 12:30pm. Around this time the day is warming up and I try to meet up with the other trainees and go on a hike or do something with them. I’m back at home before dark at 6 and I cook dinner, write emails, and then read until I fall asleep.

I know water is an essential part of life, but so much of my time is spent either collecting water from the pump or boiling water for cooking, drinking, or cleaning. Running on African time where things take so much longer and things operate much slower is such a huge transition. I swear African time is really a thing. Even in Zimbabwe and Uganda it was the same way, so I feel safe with my generalization. I love it though. I am adjusting and really loving Lesotho.