Friday, June 13, 2008

Kenya’s Revenge

During the last week in May, we were lucky enough to have one of Hubby’s future coworkers, Black Beard, and his wife Adelpha, stay with us for a few days. Despite the way I freak out and over-plan every minute of every day, I love having guests. That was, after all, the justification we gave for having such a huge apartment. There was one snag, however, in my carefully planned week – Kenya and its desire to annoy anyone who doesn’t pay appropriate homage to Her.

With the Beards set to arrive first thing Monday morning, Hubby started laundry as soon as he woke up on Sunday. This is actually how we spend most Sundays but I had added several things into the laundry bin to ensure that they would be crisp and clean for Monday morning. Have you guessed what happened yet? Oh yeah: the water pump died. Although we could take developing country showers (plenty of water, very little water pressure) the lack of a pump meant that all hopes of doing laundry were over. It literally took over four hours to do one load of colours that morning.

Monday dawned and as our guests arrived from Egypt, Hubby was busy on the phone making it clear to our apartment manager that not having a water pump was making me very angry. And nobody likes to see Mrs. Hubby angry. *evil smile* I took time to hang out with the Beards and go to lunch over at Junction, which meant that I only managed to harass people twice before the nice plumber finally arrived to see what the problem was.

After explaining that there was a short, the plumber accused me of keeping the pump on 24/7. The problem with that scenario, in addition to taking a ridiculous amount of expensive electricity to power, is that the damn thing is loud! Only a fool would keep it on all day long. And momma didn’t raise no fools.

That evening, Hubby spoke with the Professor (the guy who owns our apartment) and relayed to me that someone would arrive Tuesday afternoon to give me water.

On Tuesday, I cancelled all of my plans and stayed home, forcing my guests to take themselves around town, while I waited for water to magically appear. The true magic of the day was my speaking rather forcefully to our apartment manager at 4:00 p.m. about how I had cancelled my plans to wait for the plumber, had guests, and still had no freaking water since Sunday because he hadn’t been in the office until Tuesday morning! (Imagine my voice getting slightly more forceful and shrill with each successive point on my list and you’ll pretty much have the gist my extremely terse conversation.)

Wednesday morning was, if anything, even more Kenya-esque. By that time, you see, we were completely out of water – not only could we not take showers, we couldn’t even flush the damn toilets! And I had guests from Egypt who are about to become my neighbours and upon whom I desperately wanted to make a good impression. An impression that didn’t include unflushable toilets! *sob*

Thankfully Tori, our maid, was scheduled to work that morning which meant that she could supervise the plumbers while I entertained our guests with photo ops with live cheetah cubs and then later at the Sheldrick Orphanage. It wasn’t as if Tori would have much to do – there was no water with which to clean anything! *laugh*sob*

Periodic check-ins during the day only served to frustrate me as it took a while for the plumber to buy the parts and arrive at the apartment to install the new pump. When we finally got home that afternoon, I was informed that the pump was installed slightly incorrectly the first time around. Pre-pump, we had water and developing world water pressure that was at least livable. Post pump, it turns out, we were lucky to have water for as long as we did since the water tanks now only fill when the pump is on. Lucky, lucky us. The icing on the cake was that we were fortunate that the pump lasted this long in the first place. The plumber explained that this was the fifth water pump he had replaced this month.

As I mentioned to our apartment manager, I would have been slightly less upset and more hakuna matata about the whole thing if we hadn’t had out-of-town guests during our apartment-wide drought. Long story short (too late!): we all spoiled ourselves that Wednesday evening with cold glasses of beer followed by long, hot showers.

I should also mention here that while I was freaking out, “going dark,” and making my position on my love of water clear to anyone within hearing distance, Black Beard and Adelpha were incredibly laid back and understanding about the whole thing. So thank you to everyone involved for your patience and willingness to work so quickly (by Kenya standards) to get my water going. But can you please promise that this is my last taste of Kenya’s Revenge before I leave? *sob* Please?!

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