Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bucket Bathing

The fact that we have no running water and I am taking a “bucket” bath daily was to be expected.  The PC pretty much prepared us for this and even included a session on how to take a bucket bath properly for the sake of maintaining good health and hygiene.  It’s a good thing I paid close attention during the bucket-bath demo!

I have gotten pretty good at gauging just how much cold water to add to the hot (boiling) water to get just the right temperature, and just as important, I can complete the whole “bath” without splashing too much water all over the room.  Nonetheless, the whole process is somewhat labor intensive:  carry wash bucket to wash room, boil hot water, add cold water, carry to wash room along with towel/washcloth and clothes and soap, bathe, dump used water into another bucket, rinse out wash bucket, dump bucket of used water in back yard, carry washtub back to bedroom or bathroom.  It sounds pretty straightforward (and is) but so much more time consuming than jumping in a shower back home.  Washing my hair is a whole other process, unpleasant enough to have me thinking of getting my hair cut even shorter.

At our previous site, our host family offered a “big bath” opportunity every Sunday morning.  Trust me, this was a huge deal!  We would fill a wash tub large enough to sit in and actually soak.  Heaven!  A regular bucket bath involves a plastic, round wash tub about 30” across, and bathing involves kneeling next to while cleaning the top half and then standing in the wash tub to bathe the bottom half (think of it as a full-body sponge bath).  By comparison, sitting/soaking in a tub is a real “ahhhh” experience.  A large soaking tub is a definite item on our shopping list for when we move to our permanent site! There is also much discussion amongst the volunteers about constructing solar showers. When the weather starts heating up, 2-3 showers/baths a day just might be the norm.

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