Last week, we had an impromptu practice on how to survive with little and later on, absolutely no water.
You see, in this part of South Manila, water comes only from 4-7PM everyday. A water tank is therefore a staple site in every house in our village , if not in the entire Better Living. It is not really that bad especially once you get used to it.
But, no water at all is an entirelly different story.
Monday. I came home from work and got the most exciting news that Jane was not able to fill our water tank because pressure was not strong. Since Monday is laundry day, by the time Franco was done taking a bath, the only water left in the house were drinking water and Aki’s distilled aqua. Thank you to our neighbors, Franco’s brother and his wife, from whom we were able to ask for 2 pails of water, one for my bath, and the other for washing the dishes. If we knew that water won’t come the next day, we would not have asked from them and just maximized our stock of mineral water. Again, thank you, F and M!
Anyhoo, so these are the new rules that we rolled out during the survival bootcamp
– No serving plates and spoons. Jane still put our plates and utensils on the dining table but when we were ready to eat or if we want some more, we’d to go to the kitchen which is just a few steps away and scoop rice and ulam straight into our plates.
– Refrigerated Glass. Franco actually has been doing this but it was only during the crisis when I realized how much water is being wasted in washing glasses that can be reused. Basically, after drinking water, instead of putting the glass in the kitchen sink, we put it inside the ref and use it again later. My husband likes his glass really cold so he puts his inside the freezer.
– Bath time ala Aki. Starting this month, my 9 month old has been taking a bath inside a batya (basin). He has outgrown his baby bath tub. He likes to move around while we bathe him so we gave him a bigger area. During the water crisis, we bathed like Aki…. inside a batya! The water saved was used for flushing.
-Back to wipes. My poor little boy’s bum had to be cleaned using wipes. Wipes are great especially when travelling but when we are at home, regardless if the diaper is wet or soiled, we bring Aki to the bathroom and wash his bottom half with soap and water. Water was extremely precious on those days, so we had to use wipes.
Jane stayed up late hoping water would come. Too bad for all of us, not a single drop, not a single flicker in our water meter. We tried calling water delivery stations but all three that we called turned us down. They already had a long queue and will not accept any orders until after 3 days. Take note: will not accept any orders. That means, they might accept orders on the 3rd day but date of delivery can still not be guaranteed.
DAY 2. DESPERATION
– Take Out Day. Since we did not have water to wash the dishes, we did not ask Jane to cook anymore. We gave her money to buy her food for the day while Franco and I just ate out.
– Taking a bath using mineral water. It was the most expensive, most strategic and 2nd most memorable bath ever but we had no choice. Most memorable in my list happened during my UP Kalayaan Dorm days. There was no water in the campus, so firetrucks came to our dorm to the rescue. We lined our pails outside and the God-sent firemen filled them with water. Then we had to bring our pails 3 floors up back to our Centerfold room.
Alas! In the afternoon of day 2, water came. Jane was in the mood for hoarding so after our tank has been filled, she went on and filled every possible containers. That includes the washing machine and even the smallest bottles. I soooo love Jane.
Now that our boot camp is over, I am so much thankful for every drop that comes out of our faucets. I noticed that a lot of water goes down the drain because in our house everyone frequently washes his hands. Even Aki. So we have put a small basin in the kitchen sink to catch the water.
Moving forward, we will also be doing the following:
– Make sure we always have paper plates and plastic utensils.
– Get a drum. And when I say drum, I mean those huge drums as high as your chest. I saw brand new ones for sale right outside our village. They cost 500 bucks.Expensive but nothing compared to the stress from waterless days.
– Get a big pink basin for my pink & gray bathroom and a small stainless basin for my stainless kitchen sink.
– Most importantly, we are gonna get rid of our Dove soaps. Well, not really get rid – get rid. We will just keep them inside our cabinets so our clothes will always smell fresh. We love Dove especially the Go Fresh variant. Our skin feels smooth after every bath because one third of every Dove bar is made of moisturizing cream. However, Dove makes us take our baths a little longer. We have to wash with more water else feel soapy all day.
After discussion with my hubby, we are keeping the practices that we learned from day 1, except for using wipes since no amount of water is more precious than my boy ‘s pwet.