"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new"." -Socrates
In celebration of our one month (and one day because we’re late) arrival anniversary, we thought we’d explain some normalcies of our everyday life that were not so normal pre-arrival.
Number one, buckets. Usage, let us count the ways. We fill buckets, we stack buckets, we pee in buckets, we wash in buckets, we spit in buckets, we scrap in buckets, we store in buckets, and we dump buckets. We never truly gave buckets the credit they are due until now. We will take any bucket devoid of holes and preferably with a handle. The handle might be asking too much. We possess little buckets, bigs buckets, wobbly buckets, buckets with lids, and colorful buckets. We’re just saying, we live by the bucket.
Number two, water. We live each day off of about 8 liters of water. This 8 liters includes drinking, cooking, bathing, and dishwashing water. Oh yea, add about another liter for laundry day once a week. Just for added clarification, yes we wash our vegetables, yes we brush our teeth, and yes we drink about three cups of hot tea a day, all of which is included in the 8 liters we consume. It took a little while to get used to but we don't lack. Try it – you’ll hate it!
Number three, the umthoyi (toilet). There is no need to flush when there is no flush. It is truly interest to find yourself having to return to a flushable toilet, to flush, due to the indoctrination of the sit, shit, stand, shut, strut. We will have bigger marital problems that the average “who left the toilet seat up” when we return. Furthermore, it has become common to converse about toilet paper. “Did you bring some?”, “Do you have any?”, “Can I borrow some?”, “Are you out?”, “What else do you got?”. If you want friends in Swaziland, make sure you are packin’.
Number four, mirrors. Mirror mirror on the wall… Just kidding, there is no mirror to tell us who the fairest of them all is. We look rough, we don't need a mirror to tell us that. And good thing because we don't have one. We look in a mirror, on a good week, twice a week. Mirrors usually accompany indoor plumbing. It was an interesting feeling at first rarely see ourselves, but we have grown accustomed to being less vain. The only mirror we use is honesty… “Grace, you have something stuck again in your teeth”, “Sean, push your nose hairs back inside your nose”.
Number five, livestock. Old McDonald had a farm and we live it on it. Between Ronald and his girlfriends, the three billy goats that walk the bus route, and the King’s herd of royal cows that line both the streets and parking lots of Swaziland, we tread lightly and walk in zig zags to avoid the unavoidable. Poop. With livestock as a livelihood, we have the utmost respect for our free-range friends. If a cow is walking down the middle of a road, we step to the side. If a cow is walking down the middle of a highway, we pull to the side. Now, we even think in cow currency. Our salary combined is equal to one cow a month. If we saved all of our cows, in 17 months we could buy Alden a wife. Not a royal wife, we need better jobs for that.
Can you imagine what 2 months will bring? We know we will at least have “two cows” by then!