On multiple occasions in the past couple months the water went out at our house for several days at a time. I quickly decided that I’d rather be without electricity than water any time. The days involved very careful monitoring of water use. Carrying water only meant walking 300 meters down the road and was really nothing compared to the distances that many Kenyans have to walk for one of life’s basic necessities. The experience did help renew our commitment to careful use of earth’s most precious resource. During those five-day, any left over water from hand-washing clothes or from bathing were used for flushing the toilet once or twice a day. This latter “gray-water” recycling has been something we have tried to continue now that water has returned. Rehema is a real champion at saving. When she takes a cold shower she is sure to turn the water off while she soaps up and only turns it back on to rinse off.
Even though our water returned and all is “back to normal” the experience sticks with me and I’m daily reminded of my water use as I see women (always women) carrying heavy loads of water by hand or on their heads, or seeing children roll 20 liter jerry-cans of water from a public source to their homes. When we return to the semi-rural area where we initially lived Rehema and Bethany sometimes have join their friends in the fetching of water.
Here in Kenya there are parts of the country where one can more easily find coke-cola more readily than clean drinking water. My own water consumption and use continues to be more wasteful than it should be and I’m challenged and converted daily by the lifestyle of Kenyan people to more wisely use the resources of the world.