Our volunteer house is lovely. LOVELY.Three bedrooms full of bunk beds, a big open dining area (no kitchen as food is cooked elsewhere and brought in) and a bathroom/ showering area. There are two big buckets outside that hold the water we use in the house. We bring scoops of water inside to wash our hands and face, flush the toilet and take bucket showers. This practice is a sad reminder of how much water we unnecessarily use in the Western world.
Especially coming from the California drought, I am amazed to see how little water is needed for a shower. A bucket half full, a little soap and some strange angling of the body to get all the nooks and crannies is the recipe for success. I am determined to bring this practice back to California. If anything just to see the annoyance on my roommate Amalia’s face. And to be honest? I find the bucket shower extraordinarily satisfying. Especially after being in the sun all day covered in dust and baby goo (baby goo= snot, spit, tears, pus or fluids from any leaking wounds etc), a bucket shower is a piece of heaven. Sometimes I wish I had a video of the experience so my friends could see me crouched down in a small room covered in soap using a small plastic cup to rinse out my hair, a huge relaxed smile on my face.
I’m sharing a room with 4 other girls and it’s a mess of mosquito nets, flowery pants, bug spray and tampons. It’s like summer camp all over again and I love it. The house is a rotating cast of characters, all sharing one thing in common: a huge heart full of compassion and empathy. I am amazed by the women I am surrounded by and I hope to pick up on some of their good energy.
There’s Alison, Nallie and Jess, all from England with some of the best senses of humor I have ever seen. Berta from Barcelona, an incredibly likeable pre-med student always ready to learn something new. Ngoc from Minnesota whose ability to put herself in crazy situations and emerging unscathed is legendary. There’s Ruth from New York, an 18 year old with the maturity and wisdom of someone far into their 30s. Nicole from Canada, a devoted teacher, supplying school books and pencils for all of her students. And Kim, a proud mother from Germany. Her daughter Marcella came here for 7 months and she was so inspired she decided to come out here to check it out for herself.
It takes a lot of guts to leave the comfort of your own world to live in an entirely new country. These girls (minus Kim) are all around 20 years old. They could be out on boats yachting around Croatia or partying in Bangkok but instead, they’re devoting their time to a cause they believe in. Inspiring. I feel incredibly lucky to share this experience with these women and I’m excited for all of the weekend adventures we all will be going on.