A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fetching Water

We are in the dry season once again which means our water is scarce. I can't count on putting my buckets out and catching rain to fill my jerry cans. Daily or every other day I have to make the trek to the borehole. This is a task I have not enjoyed in the past. But somehow now, I find myself wanting to make this journey and fetch my water. Maybe it's proving to myself that I am capable of pumping water and carrying it back to my house that appeals to me.

The other day Angela, my sister, and I walked out of my house with our empty jerry cans with the intent of going to the borehole. However, I was stopped by several neighbors and friends who informed me I was not allowed to carry any water and Angela must do it all for me. They are all afraid I am going to bust open my surgical wounds and as one neighbor says, “I don't have money to send you back to South Africa when you get sick from carrying water.”

So we went to the borehole and I showed Angela the ropes. This was her first time getting water. She's not used to carrying 20 liters of water in awkward containers for long distances. So, I chose a stretch of road where I thought the prying eyes of my neighbors wouldn't be and I took the jerry cans from her and carried them. When we neared the school I gave them back to her. But as sneaky as I thought I was, they saw me. Now, not only did they chastise me for carrying my own water but they really went into Angela for allowing me to carry the water. They didn't think she was being a good sister at all! With all this harping Angela got a little bit defensive and replied, "Yes, I want Amanda to get sick again and go back to South Africa!" It was mostly under her breath and I don't think anyone heard.

This was all a few days ago. Today, we ventured out again. This time we were accompanied by Annet, Grace, and Rose. Everyone had 2 - 4 jerry cans except me. I had none. I was along for the walk and they made sure it stayed that way. This trip allowed for Angela to shine! Grace is small and unable to carry much water. Annet and Rose are older and have health issues which also slow them down. So Angela would scurry a few jerry cans down the road and then come back and take jerry cans from one of these women and scurry ahead. She did this repeatedly all the way home. Now I was the one who had to listen to, "That Angel, she has the energy." "Blessings to Angela." "Our Angel is so good." "I'm so impressed with our Angel." Yes, they now call her an Angel. How did this turn around so quickly?

Angela is only here another two weeks. Then I will have to figure something else out for fetching water. Maybe by then they will realize I'm not going to fall apart. And maybe the chore will still be exciting for me. I can only hope.

1 comment:

  1. I know you're so excited to be back! Yeah!!! love you Amanda :)