As things stand right now, we only have running water three days of the week in our current apartment. For the rest of the week, we have to fill buckets at a nearby spigot, and rely on the kindness of an uncle for real showers. We have talked to the landlord, and a solution is definitely forthcoming. It all has to do with the way the water is delivered. Each house has a tank that collects water when it is available, and the tank is meant as a backup when the water is no longer running. We have a small tank. The landlord is buying and having a bigger tank installed. We just have to be pushy to make sure it happens. The guys who do the work tend to be slow on the pick up. We're talking about running water, here.
A meddlesome neighbor had one of the workers turn off our water when she saw that we were travelling this weekend. Luckily, a relative visited the house and turned it back on. So, we had running water for as long as we have been back in Garanhuns, but it has slowed to a trickle by now. On top of that, we have contracted a stomach virus that is going around. It takes a whole bucket of water to satisfactorily flush a toilet.
So that's a taste of the ugly side of life here, but it isn't so bad. I was talking with my family this weekend, and they brought up Katrina. I think we went ten days without electricity then, although at night we would run a generator to cool the house down with AC, to bathe, etc. In fact, I had running water during Katrina due to my pump's connection to the generator powering my family's business. There was a lot of belly-aching during Katrina, but mostly not by me. I read a lot, helped out with various tasks when asked, and pretty much did all I could to ignore the heat. We were lucky, being as far inland as we were. And everyone knew it. It is wholly possible to count your blessings and belly-ache at the same time.
I think the tone of this post may be a bit colored by my recent reading. I have been reading the The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. It's a wonderful little book, in case you don't know it.