It had been over a week since there was no water in my community. Nobody was really sure why, but It was said that due to the heavy rains some of the piping had been damaged and so the water wasn’t able to get through. There is a water tank over my house so normally, when there is water, and the water is turned on, the tank fills up so I am able to have some kind of reserve at all times. The last time there was water, however, for some reason the pressure was too weak and the tank was unable to fill, so I was left with no water reserves.

You don’t really realize how much you use water, and how necessary it is, until you don’t have it. I was buying bottles of water to drink but I also needed water to bathe, wash dishes, clean, and do laundry. It was getting rather expensive using bottled water for everything and wasn’t very practical so I had to find another solution.

I decided to ask around the community to see how other people were managing the no water situation. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before I found a solution.

“Do you still not have water? I asked one of my neighbors.

“No, there isn’t any. Nobody has water Sarita”.

“So…what are you going to do?” I inquired.

“We are going to La Viña to get it” She informed me.

La Viña was the next community over, a few miles away so seeing an opportunity, I asked if I could tag along and fortunately she said yes, and that we would be leaving “now.  So, I went home to get the largest buckets I could find and ran back to her house. She stood there for a moment staring at me, then at the buckets, and then back at me before she began to laugh uncontrollably.

“Saritaaaaa!” she exclaimed. “You need to have lids for the buckets, otherwise all of the water will spill out!”

“Oh” I sighed in disappointment. “I don’t have any lids…” I told her sadly.

“No worries”, she told me. “I’ll lend you some!”

“Great!” I said grinning.

“Stay here. I’ll be right back!” she said as she disappeared back into the house to look for the lids.

Moments later she appeared in the doorway with two lids and then proceeded to fasten them onto the buckets I had brought. We then loaded the buckets (and lids) onto the back of a moto taxi and started off down the road in the direction of La Viña.

About fifteen minutes later, the driver turned off the engine and we all got out of the moto. We found ourselves in front of a small rural house with various breeds of chickens, dogs, cats and small children running around. There were two elderly women sitting outside the house who were staring at me along with the children, probably wondering where I had come from and what I was doing there. I smiled and waved.

The driver then proceeded to take the hose that was laying in the front yard of the house and began to fill up the buckets as he made small talk with a man who came out from behind the house. I noticed that one of the chickens walking around had a black crown of feathers on the top of his head and said aloud “it looks like he has a black wig on.” Everyone laughed.

After the buckets had been filled and the lids fastened on tight, we were on our way back to my community. I sat back in the seat looking out the window, smiling contently, proud of myself for finding a solution, and looking forward to the much-needed bucket bath that I would take later that evening.