23 July 2014

Water, water, nowhere?

I can walk (or drive) in any direction for 5 minutes and I can find an American company. If I had money, I could go to KFC, Carl's Jr., or Burger King and get whatever is on the menu. I can spend dollars here and get change in dollars. I used to swipe my Visa to pay for my gasoline, but I learned not to do that anymore.

However, I get reminded regularly that Mexico is a "developing nation" and this is NOT the US!

Here in Mexico, we get water service (which is awesome, because I could have to get it from a river or something horrid!). However, our water service can be....inconsistent. There is NOTHING more frustrating than going to wash out a cup to discover that there is no water. Not that we can drink the tap water here; I guess we could but I don't think I could because it smells bad. But it's annoying not to be able to shower or wash your dishes or flush your toilet... Usually the water is out for a few hours or maybe a day. However, we recently went 2 days without water. When Hector was here by himself in the old neighborhood, they were without water for 2 weeks!

As for drinking water, we have to fill up big garrafones (five gallon jugs) of filtered water. The store is either uphill to get the water, or uphill home. You get to decide what is worse for you. I usually go to the place at the top of the hill, because it is a lot easier to carry the jug downhill than up. A garrafon usually lasts our family about a day between baby bottles and relatives all drinking and cooking with the water.

Hector captured this rare picture of me working out, I mean,
carrying the water!
This makes me appreciate water so much more. In Portland, I would take super long showers that were always a consistent temperature, I would drink tap water, I could cook and clean my dishes with water that was always right there. I have learned that water is precious and I will never waste it or take it for granted again.


  1. Ah... water. I remember the first time I couldn't do dishes because the water was off. I thought that surely it was just OUR apartment with this problem. What a weird concept, right? We shared the house with another family so I guess that's why it went off a lot. I learned quickly that water is so very very precious. When it was finally on, I took the opportunity to take many a cold showers. Bucket bird baths where we added 1 pot of boiling water to a 5 gallon bucket were also our friend as we didn't have gas for about a month -___- I come from a region with the best water in the US (due to a taste test). It was hard to get used to because I'm a water drinker! Garrafones de ciel didn't even taste that great. All of that makes you a better person. I miss living Mexican, even though while there all I could think of is being poor and chain restaurants (sad). If León wasn't so far from Ohio, we'd probably still be there. Stay strong!

    1. I miss Oregon mountain spring water. They don't add anything to clean the water either- it's straight fresh mountain water. I don't even remember what moutain water mountain sounds like. We used to have the bird bath showers a lot at the old place. I just take cold showers now. If the kids need to bathe, I'll fill up the baby bath tubs and they can sit in those and shower.

  2. The situation you're in seems troublesome, Andrea, but I'm glad to know that you're looking at the bright side of things. It's always good to appreciate what we have or had. We'll never know what we take for granted until it's hard to come by. I just hope the water gets delivered consistently soon, and that the drinking water won't be so hard to acquire anymore. All the best to you! :)

    Verna Griffin @ Axeon

  3. Well, immigration policies could drastically change and I could return to the US, but since it won't, water is still at the top of the hill, but our water hasn't been shut off for a few weeks (knock on wood).