Bath party

Not the Damascus politics kind.

Bath party, Addis style, to me means inviting your friends over to use your shower because they haven’t had water at their house for a week.  Add a little wine and cheese and you can turn it into a festive event.

It happens periodically in houses around here: the public water supply is turned off for a time ranging from a day to a week or two. It’s likely due to roadwork or construction, but don’t expect a letter warning you in advance or advising you when to plan on having it back on.  It’s kind of a cultural no-no here to be the bringer of bad news, so if your guards do happen to know the water’s going off, they might not tell you unless you happen to ask (and who would think to ask?)

We’ve been fortunate with our water at Varnero. The apartment complex has its own well so the construction going on all around us hasn’t affected our supply. During the dry season there was a notice in the elevator asking us to please conserve, and we did, but we never actually ran out.

That said, we do have water issues from time to time.  Untreated tap water in Ethiopia isn’t safe to drink.  For the first few months we boiled our tap water for 10 minutes, then put it through a filter before using it for drinking or cooking.  Then we realized how much easier and maybe even cheaper it was to buy clean drinking water in 10-liter refillable bottles at the market across the street.


Our filter. We put cool boiled water into the top part; it filters down through white ceramic cones that remove the impurities into the bottom part where we can access it with the spigot.

But then a little over a week ago, Andreas went to trade our empty bottle in, and there was no fresh water.  “The factory broke,” the store owner said. Huh.  Back to boiling and filtering.


About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
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