Sunday, July 12, 2009

Message from the cleanest guy in L’shi.

After 40 days of cold, early-morning showers, I undertook action. Yesterday morning I mobilized all the water-taps in the house, collected all the pans, turned on the stove, gathered all the buckets I could find and even put the small water boiler – that we use for tea – to work. After half an hour of intensive work and walking tens of times to the bathtub and back with pans and buckets, I had… a lukewarm bath with the water standing at only 17 centimeter high. I was also reminded that I don’t like baths; too boring as I can’t sit still for more than a minute.

This morning, therefore, I undertook a different approach. There we go: Boil water in the water boiler and put it - together with cold water - into a big bucket until the latter is full with nicely warm water. Place the bucket in the bathtub and stand in the bucket (nicely warm for your feed). Then with a cake-mold pour water over your body. If one does the latter slowly, little water is wasted as it returns, via your body, into the bucket. Of course, there is a trade-off because more warm water going over your body at any particular time is nicer. Of course, after shaving, washing, etc. pouring water over ones body gets boring. The nice thing of this approach is that at the end the bucket is still relatively full, and one can throw all the water over oneself in one go. Absolutely brilliant!

Some final random notes:
- Several days ago, Simon and I watched the movie "American Gangster"; a great movie. Large chunks of the moview take place in Harlem - my neighborhood in New York. The church, for example, where Denzel Washington gets arrested, is the big white church right at my street corner on 120th and Lenox. Really nice to be far away from home and then to see your neighborhood.
- The sound that goats make, makes Simon happy.
- Did you know that the Bible comprises 24 books for Jews, 66 for Protestants, 73 for Catholics, and 78 for most Orthodox Christians.
- In Bukavu it is not possible to just go for a walk, and certainly not without first notifying the radio room. Yesterday, Simon and I took advantage of the fact that the security situation is substantially better in Lubumbashi. We went for a long walk. Finally interacting with locals. I spent some time in the church (a ceremony was taking place and the singing was amazing):

There is a large copper mine nearby (Lubumbashi is known for the mining; especially copper):

We passed by a stadium, several schools, tried to avoid goats and chickens that were running around in garbage, etc. It was fantastic. I really missed just walking around and interacting at the fly with locals; something I really enjoyed when I was in South Africa. This morning, for example, we bought the eggs for our breakfast at a shop (read: 4 pieces of wood kind of tied together) in our street. Constantly living in an ex-pat bubble as we do in Bukavu is not very nice. Finally, the view on our neighborhood (we live somewhere among those houses in the back of the picture):

1 comment:

  1. Wow guys, I must be breaking all the rules. I've gone for several walks here in Bukavu. But you do have to get out of our neighborhood and cross over to where "normal" people live. Of course, you'd have to stop working for a bit ;-)