Most of the World Lives Without Hot Water

I am spending 4 weeks in Arop village in Sandaun Province or Papua New Guinea running Trauma Healing courses. This is the same place where a tsunami wiped out half the village in 1998 as told in the book Sleeping Coconuts. But that’s another story. I wish I could post a picture but I don’t have the bandwidth.

It’s not unusual that I trek through the jungle and wash in streams or with buckets. I do have a confession to make though. I’m a pansy when it comes to cold water showers. Even on the hottest days I take a warm shower. Sitting in cool water or taking an ambient shower literally takes my breath away.

It’s certainly true in the highlands where you wash in cold mountain streams, but even in the Sepik where the temperature doesn’t fall below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21C) I have trouble taking a shower. Every time I wash in a stream of cool water (which usually is refreshing despite the adverse effects on my respiratory system) I become even more thankful for my hot water back home.

I have a lot to be thankful for and it’s things we usually take for granted like hot water. I have screens on my windows so I have a respite from mosquitoes. I cook on a stove instead of an open fire. I have a mattress I sleep on instead of rough wood floors. I have a store where I can buy food (and money to do so) so I don’t have to spend my time subsistence farming. I have a washing machine so I don’t have to scrub my clothes over a bucket or on a rock in a stream. I’m even so extreme that I have a basketball hoop and a ball that holds air in my back yard.

So many people don’t have any of that. I have a lot to be thankful for.

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