Saturday, October 15, 2005

Being Clean

I finally figured out how to get hot water. And not electrocute myself. These are very important milestones in the past three days. In Brazil, we take at least two showers a day. Sometimes three. If I don't show up with wet hair to a date, a church service, whatever, people mutter...only "pigs" don't shower before going out. So it was quite a shock to me to have only taken TWO since Wednesday! It's just so cold (to me, anyhow) and I couldn't face the prospect of being any colder than I already was...but last night, I discovered that when only about 15 drops of water come out of the showerhead, it's near boiling. And if you turn the knob with a towel, you don't feel that little zinging buzz that lets you know the electric showerhead is working just fine.

I have this little house/room inside Esther and Samuel's compound. Compound is such a fun word, and completely inadequate to describe where I live. They have three rooms in their house: a living room, a bedroom with three beds, and a kitchen with no sink. Outside is the bathroom, a sink/laundry area, an open area for hanging laundry or hanging out, and then my little cabin, with its door and window and blue walls. My room is probably a third of the size of their house...

Just a thought: In America, in the West, we have all our kitchen appliances handy and convenient and efficient and we don't have to walk fifteen steps outside to fill up the coffee pot or wash the dishes. But I've never eaten so well in an American house. And the enviroment is hardly ever as relaxed. When the floor is dirt, no one cares if something gets spilled...I had to laugh to myself today as I was brushing my teeth in the sink, tying a little mirror to the laundry line to put on my makeup...thinking about when I was a kid, growing up in the woods of Indiana, building little huts and imagining life on the prairie, the Wild West...well, this isn't too far removed from those dreams! Except it's the city. In 2005. And I can wear makeup and not be a prostitute! Now, if it just wasn't cold...and there was a direct line to the internet from my room...

I'm rambling.

You could pray for me. My hands are like boxing gloves. Arthritis isn't liking Lima so well...

1 comment:

Marcia said...

I have "arthritic changes" in my hands, too. I'll be praying...I know how miserable the cold can be!