Sunday, June 13, 2010

Water is Valuable - Especially when you don't have any

This morning, I got up and for some reason, felt all productive in the kitchen. We had planned on hot dogs on the grill for dinner, so I made hot dog buns (for the first time ever) using this recipe, then boiled the potatoes and eggs for potato salad. I also heated up some milk and set up the cooler for yogurt.

I'm exceptionally glad I did this because by 1400 we had no more water. We've had to deal with no water before because they have been putting in some new concrete houses, along with power outages, but each time we had warning and could prepare for it. This time, the cause was some construction near our street. Apparently, they hit a pipe or something of that nature.

Water is pretty important. That's a whole host of things you can't do when you have no running water, from the annoying to the downright scary. Drinking water is obviously at the top of the scary list (and we were dangerously low because of the lack of warning), especially since we live in a tropical environment. Past that obvious issue, though, consider this list of things you need water for:

  • Flushing the toilet
  • Washing your hands - this is especially gross when you have a two year old who is not so great at aiming into the potty
  • Cleaning up things (this also applies to the above issue)
  • Washing laundry
  • Washing dishes (wow, I'm so glad Oliver decided to do all the dishes yesterday afternoon and we didn't eat dinner at home!)
  • Taking a shower
  • Cleaning your kids up after they were digging in the dirt
  • Cooking, which includes washing vegetables - I had a fine time cleaning the celery for our potato salad with the inch of water left in the pot from boiling the eggs
 I'm sure I could think of more, but those were the issues that came up today. We did take comfort in the 25 gallons of water I have stored in the house, but luckily didn't need them because the base gave all of us affected by the outage a free case of water. The water came back on by the boys' bedtime, but we're going to be boiling our drinking water for the few days to be safe. Apparently, some ground water got into the pipes. The guy that came by to let us know what was going on assured us they were disinfecting it and it should be fine, but he also handed us a flyer that gave us information on E. Coli and a few other germs and why we should be boiling our water. Fun stuff.

One thing I will say about living here: I have absolutely learned the value of things I really haven't had much reason to think about before. While on the one hand it is a pain (like when you really, really want to wash your hands after taking care of your kid's accident), it is also opening my eyes in a way I had not had cause to do so before. I appreciate that very much, and I hope I take that with me when we return to civilization.

In closing, here is a pic of Wyatt wolfing down one of the hot dog buns. I'm pretty proud of them, and they came out about what hot dog buns should be, so I think I'll be making them again in the future. For the record, though, I did bake them at 375 instead of 400, and will likely drop that to 350 next time as they were just a tad bit dry. I also used a cup of white wheat instead of straight up all purpose.

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