Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some good advice

Before Terrill & I left for Uganda back in 2007, a friend of mine gave me some good advice. She was a former missionary herself and knew the uncertainties that I was going through. So many unknowns in my future. We had talked long and hard about how I could develop a sustainable life in Africa. Her advice was this: figure out what you need to survive over there and make sure you have it. She once had a friend who thought she needed her piano in order to survive overseas...so her husband shipped her piano over and she was a happy camper. I thought on this...what do I need? It came down to two things. I need to get a good night's sleep on a comfortable bed (to avoid crankiness & stress) and I need to feel clean once in a while (something that I took for granted before coming to Uganda). The next step was to inform my husband of my needs and see if he could assist me in meeting these requirements. For the first two years, our house in Kaabong provided both a nice bed and hot bucket showers. When we started building our compound in Timu, we had to reconsider how to meet these needs. The bed was no problem; you can find them anywhere. The shower/bath was more of a challenge. First of all, it's chilly in Timu and sometimes difficult to stay warm (esp. at night). I think everyone would agree that a bath taken in the cold air is not pleasant. If I were to bathe during the heat of the day, I'd have several pairs of dark eyes watching me from the fence. Not my idea of fun. When we first moved to Timu, we were bathing out of a large basin. I also had trouble washing my hair by myself. I could never seem to get all the soap out. I became frustrated....until recently. Terrill has figured out a way to rig up a bucket shower in our bathroom. Now I can squat under the bucket and have a glorious 3-minute shower that warms me and gets the soap out of my hair. Yes, I've mastered the 3-minute shower. I'm sure my father is surprised because I used to enjoy 20-minute showers (although he would argue they were longer). Anyway, the point is that Terrill has helped me to meet some basic needs in Timu that will keep me healthier and happier. Thanks for the advice, Kay!

Below I have some contrasting pictures, just for fun. I went on a home visit to see a sick girl (12 yr old) who was having bad back pain. Usually, the Ik sleep on hard dirt floors in their huts unless they can afford a mattress. We're letting Nangoli Lucy borrow a mattress until her situation improves. In contrast, this is where we sleep in Timu. Not too shabby...I can't complain. The only thing to pester us at night are the occasional daddy-long legs.
This is a young girl bathing at the borehole (well) from water that splashes out while people are filling their jerry cans to take back to the village. I found it interesting that she was scrubbing herself with a rock. Definitely got those dead skins cells off. Too bad though, that you'd have to bathe in front of other people. Let's just say that some parts get washed more often than others. ;)
And this is my new shower! Thank the Lord for these small provisions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading your August posts this evening. I love your new shower Amber and am so thankful for the generosity shown you by your Ik neighbors. I am praying God's blessing on them as they bless you guys. Love to you both. Will write soon. Mary