16 December 2007

I had begun to think it was only a myth, but now I have seen it with my own eyes: running water in Debremarkos. KB and I woke up at 6:00 this morning to shouting and commotion outside in the street. Shortly afterward, we heard insistent banging on the back door of the house. I dragged myself out of bed to answer the door and found my landlady, wrapped in a white netella against the morning chill, reporting to me excitedly, "Wuha alleh!" (There is water!). For the next 45 minutes, KB and I rushed around the house, filling up any empty container we could find: buckets, basins, barrels, pitchers, pots, and even my teakettle. Inside my bathroom was chaos. We turned on the shower faucet to fill our bathroom buckets, to find that doing so caused water to pour onto the floor from an open pipe exiting the opposite wall. We solved this quandary by positioning a laundry basin underneath the confusing new stream, but five minutes later a new cascade began from an open pipe in the wall to the right. It was like a cartoon. Thoroughly perplexed, we called in my landlady for assistance. She slid a lever on the shower faucet fixture from left to right, and the open pipes stopped running. Obviously, it was the flood-the-bathroom lever. Now that we know how to turn the bathroom flooding setting on and off, we should be much better at this whole process in the future.

No comments: