Thursday, September 2, 2010

We Have Water Restrictions

As of today, we are on water restrictions.  My friends in the US think water restrictions mean don't water the grass.  Water restrictions here mean we have no water, except at certain times of the day.  For now we have water from 6 AM - 10 AM and again from 2 PM - 7 PM.  This could change.  I have seen it when there was water from 7 AM to 10 AM   then from 7 PM to 10 PM on alternate days.  I have to plan my day carefully, so I have water to cook, wash clothes and do dishes.  Macho Man has to get his bath early.

My friends in  other parts of the country have been fighting torrential rains and flooding recently.  In Colon we have had no appreciable amount of rain since maybe June, when a couple of tropical storms blew through.  I have commented several times that the North Coast gets 144 inches a year, so it seams unreasonable that our river would run dry, but it is drying up.  We only have rain during the rainy seasons, and then it can rain up to 12" of rian per hour.  During the dry season it is exactly that, dry, except for the humidity. 

 In general, the rainy season in Honduras runs from May to November in the interior and from September to January along the north coast and Bay Islands (with a chance of severe storms any time of the year).
Hurricane Season is from August to November; direct hits are uncommon, but are devastating when they do come.  Remember Hurricane Mitch.  It stood off the Bay Islands for four or five days and did millions of dollars in damage, and took any lives, even on the mainland.

I wish I had known about the water restrictions earlier today.  We haven't had water except occasionally for the last two weeks.  It means we keep 5 gallon buckets of water in the bathrooms and one bucket in the kitchen for the dishes.  It means sometimes a quick shower and sometimes no baths at all, just using baby wipes.  Certainly, there has been no hair washed in several days.  Anyway, today about 9:45, I noticed we had water, and good water pressure, so I decided to  get in the shower, take a bath, and do my hair while I had a chance.  

I lathered up twice, rinsed, and applied the conditioner, and the water went kaput.  It is now 4 PM, the water is on, but just as I started up stairs about 2:15 PM, the woman who cleans for me came,  so I still have conditioner in my hair.  Oh well,  my hair needed a deep conditioning anyway.   

We usually sit on the balcony and enjoy the view from about 5:30 PM to about 7 PM.  Now we will have to eat and wash dishes during that time, so we will have to sit on the balcony during the late evening hours.  At night we can see the lights from the village of Rio Negro, the stars, and occasionally a cruise ship or a container ship with lights blazing, so we still have a view.  

We have a roof over our heads, and even though there is no glass in our windows, we won't get too wet. We cook with propane, so we won't go hungry. We buy water by the five gallon jug and we have three jugs, so we won't be thirsty. The bedroom will stay dry, unless there is a lot of wind, so we will be able to sleep comfortably. We have Coleman lanterns, so we will be able to see at night.

Ironically, there is a big rainstorm coming down the mountain even as I type.  It won't mean an end to the water restrictions, unless it rains 24 hours a day for several days.  Then the people along the rivers and in the mountains have to watch for flash floods and  mudslides.  Sometimes the bridges get washed away by the torrents of water coming down off the mountains.  That means Trujillo is cut off from the rest of Honduras.

We are blessed.

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