Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Snippets of a desert life - How to take a bucket bath

There’s no running water at the house here in Korr, so bathing is done standing in a large pink bucket inside a little mabati (corrugated sheet metal) room off to the side of the house. I’ve been here nearly two months, and I still love the routine! I’d even call it fun! Whoopie! A bucket bath! This is so cool! Yes, I’m a dork. Deal with it! ;)

Want to get clean? Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Fill a kettle with water and light the stove (that is, if you want warm water – usually it’s so hot I’m happy without this step). Let the water boil as you prepare the rest of your bath.

2. Gather your soap, shampoo, towel, clean clothes, etc and bring them to the stall. Push your hip into the door to slide the padlock out and open the creaky door.

3. Go back to your room and get the bucket that you use for fetching water. Draw a bucket and a half or so of water from the water barrels and dump them in the bath bucket. Draw another bucket of water to leave in the stall for the end of your bath - fresh water to rinse with so you don’t rinse with the soapy water and end up with a film of soap and shampoo all over you for the rest of the day.

4. Go back to the stove and get the kettle. Dump this in the bath bucket, grab the jug for dumping water over you and take your bath. Don’t worry that the door doesn’t close from the inside and just flaps in the breeze as you bathe. Your bath bucket is around the corner and no-one can see you. Just take care when you’re dressing that you STAY around the corner. You never know when a gust of wind will send the door flying open!

5. Once you’re all clean, dump the bath bucket out onto the floor. A little drain pipe will leads to outside and it’ll drain quickly. Return the kettle and the bucket and you’re all done!

6. If you’re REALLY adventurous, do all this by headlamp after dark. It’s much more fun when you’re dodging cockroaches in the shower stall and bathing in near darkness.

7. But of course, if you’re really lazy, just fill up a bucket of water, take it to your room, and splash it all over yourself there. (Don’t worry about the giant puddle on the floor, it’ll be dry in half an hour!)


Canadi-Ann said...

Nice ritual you have there, Miss Hillary! Reminds me of bathing in Nigeria - we did have dribbly showers, but not the luxury of electricity to heat the water when you needed it. Cold showers were a regular occurence.

We switched locations & then did the bucket shower thing too. Good times!

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

I bucket-bathed when I lived primitively in Pennsylvania years ago, but I never had to dodge cockroaches!

Jean said...

Sounds like a work out in and of itself!!!

anne said...

Wow. That's quite the routine you've got going there.... :)

nachtwache said...

Now I know that's not for me. I grew up a bit rustic, no hot, running water, all wood heat, the tub out in the wash house, to get there we walked through the barn, no electricity out there, so baths by candle light with spider webs for special effect.....
nah, I like modern conveniences. I'll leave that adventure to others.