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If you've enjoyed reading about my experiences in Tanzania here, check out the new blog I've started on Wordpress as of November, 2017. It's called "Back to Tanzania" and you can read it here. All new adventures in Tanzania from an older, wiser, more experienced expat.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Waiting for Water--Again

Gosh, I thought we had the water supply question down to a sort of reliable routine. Run out of water. Talk to Saitoti, our askari, who will call the Maji Safi water delivery truck. Pay 100,000 T-shillings (about $70 U.S.). The truck comes, usually later the same day, and you're good to go for another three weeks or so.

We ran out of water this morning. It was St. Patrick's Day, and I'm Irish (on my mother's side), so I should make the standard joke here about just drinking beer instead. But I don't drink. And I need a shower!

We've been hoping to move to another house soon. I was coping with the water situation (read about that here, and here, and here), and the road (read about that here, and here,  and here) and the noise from the church (here). But now a bar has opened in the small shops right outside our gate. The bar is about 100 meters from my bedroom window. On nights with electricity, they play music until around midnight, which I can hear inside my house. On busy nights, the drunks either have shouting matches or sing together or roam the area laughing until about 1:00 a.m. It's just the final straw. So even though I love this house, I want out.

Which relates to the water how, you ask? We were hoping to move before we had to buy another tank of water, but we didn't make it. So we thought we'd at least lower the expense by buying half a tank, which we were doing for the first month or so. So K2 gave Saitoti 50,000 on his way out this morning. Early afternoon, when I went out, Saitoti told me something I didn't understand, other than the Swahili for "not yet." He speaks no English, and my Swahili is not up to complicated problems. We communicate well enough for friendly exchanges of greetings and road condition reports, and he's incredibly patient with me. However, today, we had to go to Plan B for Complicated Problems. This is a technique I previously developed, in which one of us calls K2, who's almost never here, and explains the problem. K2 then calls the other person and translates the problem to/from English to/from Swahili. K2 called me in early evening to tell me that Saitoti had called him to say we had to fork over the whole 100,000. The Maji Safi guys won't come out here for less now that we're into the serious water shortage. Now it's almost 1:00 a.m. and still no water delivery. I guess they'll show up tomorrow sometime.

So at 6:00 p.m., I was feeling despondent over the whole thing and how I'd wasted a whole day waiting for water because I didn't understand what was happening. I drove out to get some takeout for dinner since you can't cook without water. As I reached the road, an adorable three-year-old walking with his mom saw me in my car and called out, "Shikamoo," (the respectful greeting to an older person), and he laughed out loud when I gave the correct response, "Marahaba."  He cheered me up in only a minute. Then, while I was waiting for takeout at an Indian restaurant a ten-minute drive away, the rain started. By the time I got back to the last stretch of road outside my house, it was slick. I slid all over in four-wheel-drive, even into the ditch for a few yards. It was complicated by avoiding the three cars parked along the road outside the new bar. But I made it. After two hours of heavy rain, the chorus of frogs singing in different voices up and down the scales was beautiful. I hope the drunks are able to get their cars out of the mud. But I'm really over the road and the water and the bar. So wish me luck with house hunting.

It's been awhile since I posted. That's because I was out of town and away from the internet on safari in Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania. The park is beautiful and we had some incredible wildlife sightings. I'll tell you all about it in my next post. It will take a few days because I came home with over 600 pictures. I want to sort through them so as not to subject you to the boring or blurry ones. So check back soon for lions, cheetahs, and exotic birds.

1 comment:

  1. Looking at your pictures from the Ruaha National Park make me incredibly envious. Good luck with the water (and the house hunting)!