Saturday, July 30, 2011

When, exactly, is the last time you bathed?

Z awoke our first morning and wanted to immediately meet our hosts' dog, Yoshi, who she'd seen a picture of while we were still in the States. Halfway down the stairs and a well-put-together man about my age looked up from the gate, saw my white face and asked, "Are you related to Josh?"
"I'm his wife," I reached over the gate to shake his hand, "Rebeca."
"I'm Nabil. Allah'u'Abha!" he smiled wide.
My face lit up several watts. The Baha'is have come to visit us! Nabil went back to his car to park it, knowing he'd found the right place.
I ran inside to wake Josh and in moments, having hugged warm hellos and welcomes, we were all sitting in the front room chatting, drinking water and eating airport mixed nuts. When Josh came to the DR in March of last year to scope the place out, he stayed with Nabil. What a gem of a human being! He brought with him two other Baha'is from the area, Ronald and Riaz. They are all students at the university. After all the standard questions had been asked and we answered each one of them, "We don't know," we shared with them our shower-catastrophe-story. Not 24 hours here and, of course, we have a catastrophe story under our belts. We felt obliged to tell them since in the same breath we apologized for our smelly-selves. None of us had bathed since Oregon.
It went something like this:
Josh, the stinkiest of the bunch, was voted to bathe first. Having been given the how-to-use-the-shower lesson not an hour earlier, we felt confident. I'm sure many of us have used an apparatus similar to this one. I had one in Honduras myself (though the one here is far superior as there aren't any coils sticking out).

The idea is: turn on the water, pipe it over some hot coils and the water will fall on you, hot. Can you see the switch on the shower head?

Josh turned on the water and waited a moment. I happened to be standing in the little hallway in front of the closet shown on the right.

Shown here, in order: bathroom, sink, closet.

In moments my feet were cooler than they've been since we arrived. I relished in the fresh, cool...
"Aaaaah! Josh! Turn off the shower! Turn it off! Turn it off!"
...water. All over the floor and gaining momentum as it pooled, sneaked its way into both bedrooms. When Josh turned on the shower, water came gushing out of a hole in the wall eight feet away. No joke. The hole was inside that closet, somehow connected to the shower. Water. Everywhere.
The water is now s l o w l y evaporating from one of our suitcases, my purse, my carry-on and three of our towels. The humidity is working against us.
Our new friends laughed and, every one being engineers, easily explained to us that the closet used to be home to the water heater. Josh had turned the left faucet--the ex-hot one--instead of the right.
The fix: shove a stick in there. Good to go.
Proof: Freshly showered & happy.
The hole + the stick = no more troubles. For now.

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