By nine or so in the evening, I realized that I hadn’t eaten all day. During the confusion of the storm and my frantic attempts to mitigate the damage, the water lines had been shut off. This meant that I was both without water (meaning without coffee as well--possibly the greatest crisis of all that day) and without a means to wash my food or my dishes. That night was cold and wet, but certainly one I will not forget. These are the kinds of experiences that one only gets in the Peace Corps. I count myself lucky as well, seeing as a section of my community does not even own homes; there are a group of landless peasants down the road from my house who live in a sort of make-shift shanty town of tent-like structures made of plastic bags and recycled materials. In total, about 20-30 families live like this (I have been given different numbers by different residents). I cannot imagine that my experience with the rain is anything compared to theirs.
The weather took a splendid turn yesterday, however, as the Antarctic winds have begun their surge northwards heralding in fall (and eventually winter) here in the southern hemisphere. The sun broke through yesterday around noon giving way to what I could only compare to perfect autumn weather in the US northeast; the only thing missing was leaves changing colors and apple cider. It was a perfect day--not too hot, hot too cold, just right. The ample midday sunshine dried all my clothes and sheets and last night I slept snug-as-a-bug.
My only possible complaint is that, as the weather turns colder (yesterday peaking around the mid-60’s, today starting out in the low-40’s), my outdoor shower without hot water has become a bit of challenge. It takes a certain frame of mind to motivate oneself to bathe in 50 degree weather when the water in the lines is no warmer. There is nothing like the feeling of being nice and clean, but this fall and winter, that feeling is going to come at a price. I always told myself that loosing my hygiene would be the first step toward loosing my sanity and therefore, promised myself to maintain both while serving in the Peace Corps. It seems that this will not be a commitment easily fulfilled, especially while living in a brick house without a heating system or insulation and without a fellow cuddle buddy to keep me warm. If there are any takers back there in the US, feel free to join me--my thin, drafty, wooden door is always open (figuratively speaking that is; nowadays it is almost always closed, literally).
|Dew on some leaves in front of my house.|
This morning, with the temperatures so low, it is once again raining in my house. The warm, moist earth seems surprised at the sudden cold and leaks its condensation over every possible leaf and blade of grass.
|Water condensing on the inside of my roof in the early morning.|
My tin roof acts like a greenhouse in the morning sunlight and thousands of small droplets of dew trickle down my walls. In a way it is beautiful, so long as I am properly bundled and tucked away in some dry corner of my house (hard to come by when you are living in a 3 meter by 5 meter brick box). It is so crazy to think that just 2 months ago, I felt as if the heat might kill me. I can’t say which one I like more, but give me a few more months of the cold and I will be sure to let you know.