Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Water...It Should be so SIMPLE

6 minutes and 30 seconds to fill a 5 liter jug of water...on an average day

20 five liter jugs every day during camp

130 minutes each day filling water from the single water filter we have...in my house

2 hrs and 10 minutes

Walking back and forth from the water filter to the kitchen to the garage -- At least an hour

Monday thru Friday 15 hours....15 hours just to drink a glass of water

Every day for the past two weeks the city water shuts off between 6 and 7 am.  Walk to the shut off, check for the city water, close off city water, open the valve for the 5,000 liter tank perched high above the property.  Pressure, the higher the tank the better the pressure.  The pressure is still not strong enough in the tank to properly run the water filter.  It filters out most but not all of the bad heebie jeebies naked to the human eye.  Will this time be the time I get sick? as I put the bottle of water to my lips.

Hourly checks on the city water to see if it has returned.  The longer it is out, the more precarious our supply in the tank.  Should the tank run dry we start hauling water from the lower tanks in jerry cans to our houses.  We start boiling water.  I did that last week.

11-15 riders, 7-9 staff, animals, gardens, pump track, laundry...lots and lots of laundry all needing a steady supply of water.

When will the city water come back on?  Will the pressure be strong enough to pump it up the pipe into the tank?  The top open tank sits high above the compound.  Does the opening invite birds to deposit their most recent meal?  What could possibly have settled in that tank?
The tank at the top of the property
I prefer not to go there.

I have had Typhoid Fever.  Typhoid....a disease which comes via poor hygiene and sanitation.  Poop in the water.  There is a vaccine for it, albeit 60% effective.  I was at the end of my two years, the time period where you are 60% protected.  It was the worst feeling couple of weeks in my 48 years on the planet.

Cristina, our Canadian English teaching volunteer, asked, "How many hours a week to we deal with water?"

Apparently a minimum of 15 hours.

The double whammy has been the days when we have no water AND no electricity.  Thanks to a generator we're still not sure how we are paying for, we at least have electricity.....for a couple of hours.  Last Friday the electricity was off from 8:30am until early evening.  We ran the generator for two hours just do do all the sheets from the 15 beds the riders occupied during the week.

2 hours of generator time = $60+ in fuel

$60 to do laundry

The last two weeks of camp my days have been consumed by turning on the generator, turning off the generator, filling the tank, turning on the city water, filling bottle after bottle after bottle of semi filtered water.

In between all of that...I try to do my job....getting visas and passports for Rwandan cyclists (another blog for another time) and trying desperately to find money to make all this craziness run.

I am exhausted....completely and utterly spent.

And yet, I have it easy.  I have a generator and a back up tank of water....that's the irony.

Please help us provide clean, safe, consistent water to our team and staff.  Every little bit helps!


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