Back to the Bucket


When I spent time in Rwanda a few summers ago, my sister taught me a critical skill, bucket showers. Which are more accurately described as bucket washings. This memory is relevant to this post, I promise.
We are here in Damak now, a small town in the South-Eastern corner of Nepal. Damak is surrounded by a series Bhutanese refugee camps in which we will be conducting our research. My trusty team of researchers and I are staying at a small guest house in town. We arrived yesterday, to discover that things were both better, and worse than we expected:
The temperatures have been mild, hovering around 90 degrees and 100% humidity.
But, they are expected to climb another 25-30 degrees in the next few weeks.
The place we are staying has electricity.
Unfortunately, it shuts off for hours at a time unexpectedly leaving us rummaging around blindly for flashlights or cell phones.
There are beds for each of us.
But, they are just wooden boards on with a 2 inch think cushion on top.

The cockroaches only come out at night.
But, they are the biggest I’ve ever seen and fly around terrifying the faint of heart in our group. Last night I had to kill one to prove we’d all be okay living in the same rooms as them.
We have running water, sometimes.
But, no functional showerheads. So, you have to fill up a bucket and use a cup to scoop it out and clean yourself.

At least this time, unlike in Rwanda, the bucket washings are inside. The cold water feels good because of how warm it is outside. And after my first “shower” here, I was reminded of the time that I arrived in another place that was completely unknown to me, uncomfortable at first, but beautiful. And how Rwanda really became my home that summer.

Then, I was with my sister. This time, I’m with 5 women I hardly know, but who deeply intrigue me.

Damak is already feeling like our temporary home.
We are figuring it all out together.
We visited the refugee camps for the first time today. But more on that later…

Miss everyone at all my real homes like crazy still.
And in case I can't get internet again between now and Sunday...Congratulations to a best friend and future sister in law, Emily soon-to-be Morgan and her almost husband Bobby. I am so sad not to be standing up there with y'all Sunday, but I'll just have to settle with being related to you the rest of my life...
Lots of love. Xo.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of "showering" in a shower stall with a liter bottle of water, in Albania, because we didn't know when the local water flowed and didn't, so missed running water opportunities. Froze to death the time I bought my water bottle at the tiny store across the road and had to "shower" immediately with water straight from the ice box. (Which probably sounds luxurious to you.)

    Proud of you for going head-to-head with the cockroach. Brave woman. We had huge flying cockroaches in Houston; I had a policy never to squish one cause there was too much juicy stuff to clean up afterward.

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