For those of you interested in more pics of our fixer-upper-in-process (see last blog post), here’s a shot of our recently updated guest bathroom:
I had so much fun finding/pulling together the various items in this room (including the curtain kikoi, bargained for at Maasai Market, of course). The colors in this bathroom always bring a nice, soothing injection of calmness into my day, whenever I pass by.
They always make me feel good.
However…that is about all I’ve been doing with this bathroom lately: passing by.
See the recently installed instant (electric) hot-water showerhead peeking out from behind the curtain, above the windows? Not working. Mainly because there’s not been enough water pressure coming through the pipes to ensure that the temperature (on the “hot” setting, the only one functioning) is less than scalding.
Isaac-the-electrician (I have all three of his mobile numbers now) has already been here two or three times, persistently trying to get it all sorted/fixed. But he has been defeated (a favorite Kenyan saying) up to now.
Sigh. We had such high hopes for this bathroom, as our own master bath has “issues” of its own. The shower/tub in there has been leaking (apparently for months, long before we arrived) through the floor and into the downstairs apartment.
Which means that our master bathroom shower is unusable to us as we wait for parts/repair…(currently into week three…or is it four?).
And, since yesterday, the coup-de-grace: because a large teacher conference is taking place at the adjacent high school (with which we share a water supply), there has been no water at all coming through the pipes (kitchen taps, bathroom, toilets).
Nada. Zip-Zero-Zilch. Hakuna maji.
I’m told that the conference will go on for a few weeks, ending right before Christmas. We might then get a week or two of regular water before the boarding high school and university students come back in early January…
…when the cycle of “no water” will most likely begin again.
Discouraging. Disappointing. Disheartening. No water = no shower = no dishes = no washing hands = no laundry = no flushing toilets. EXCEPT from the effort of hauling huge quantities/buckets/barrels of the stuff up the stairs each morning from the outside tap.
However, only a few got there in time this morning before that pipe also went dry (we got one small bucket).
So, as I was contemplating
- living in this lovely-but-waterless apartment for, perhaps, the next few weeks/months…(years?);
- taking the two-hour trip to Kijabe or the three-hour trip to Nairobi every other weekend just to get my hair properly washed/rinsed and our clothes, sheets, and towels clean (there are no U.S.-style laundromats in Kenya, folks);
- the fact that “this is not what I signed up for” when I imagined coming back to Kenya…(as a “spoiled and privileged” American missionary, I never had to really deal much with this issue/problem in Kijabe/Nairobi, even though I am well-aware [on an intellectual, abstract basis] that this is the normal way of life for most Kenyans);
I was beginning to feel pretty sorry for myself.
Until…I glanced out the window; and saw this:
And heard, from downstairs, my two lovely Kenyan neighbors chatting and laughing away together, enjoying the day and each other’s company, oblivious to (or at least not focusing on) the current water problem that is affecting us all.
As I continued listening to them visit with each other, two thoughts hit me, almost simultaneously:
- They were not feeling sorry for themselves (even with “inconvenient water”, they had managed to hang out the morning laundry, for crying out loud);
- I can learn so much from them.
I quickly made my way downstairs to join them in the laughter, truly enjoying the easy camaraderie and budding friendships that are beginning to develop with both of these dear ladies. They informed me that “Block 1” (out of 8 faculty four-plex apartment buildings here on campus) is considered to be the “Happy Block“, where the neighbors treat each other as “family”.
I am so grateful that we were put here, in this block. More than having running water, God knew that this is just exactly where I needed to be when moving into this new place.
High hopes. I have such high hopes, living here with my new neighbors and friends. High hopes for learning from them
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials…” (James 1:2)
Fruits of the Spirit. Things I desperately need at the moment. Attitudes that will help me cope with this current-but-ultimately minor (when put into perspective) water situation/irritation.
Anchors that will help to prepare me for when the major irritations and difficulties (sure to come) inevitably appear.