In America, we often take having constant access to water for granted. Something I learned very early on after moving to Botswana is that water is a precious commodity. We often go for a few days without water and this may stretch to a week or more. In preparation, most Peace Corps Volunteers store water - we never throw out a bottle because water could be kept there and we each have a few buckets that are used solely for stored water. It is a way of life that we have adjusted to. "Ga go na mathata", as we would say, "no problem".
This week has been particularly hot for the time of year. Temperatures have been about 40C/104F. This means that water is even more valued. Unfortunately for us, the water in my village has been out since Monday evening. We were told that the outage is due to a pipe bursting in the main water line in Mogoditshane (our neighboring village, between Gabane and Gaborone). There is no telling when the pipe will be fixed and water restored. The government is set to bring big tanks to Gabane for people to queue at to get water. To me, this seems like a fruitless endeavor since the village has nearly 13,000 people and a queue of that magnitude is sure to have more than a few snafus.
So what is a lowly Peace Corps Volunteer to do in a time like this? Cower in fear? Shrivel up in thirst? Pack a bag and get the heck outta dodge? No way Jose! Seeing the storm clouds roll in last night, I grabbed all the buckets in my house and stuck them in my yard to catch the rain water! I now have roughly 20L of water at my disposal! Peace Corps ingenuity win? I think so!