Let us start with the process so you can understand why this is even a question each day...
Step 1: Collect fire wood
Step 2: pump water from the tank into a container
Step 3: put water in a large pot
Step 4: make a fire then add pot of water
Step 5: wait for water to boil
Step 6: remove laundry from laundry room so you can bathe in there
Step 7: find a bucket and wash it so you can add your Herefresh bath water
Step 8: Find a large jug or cup for pouring water over your head
Step 9: Carry boiling water to the laundry room without spilling on your hands or toes
Step 10: Pour boiling water in bucket, add cold water
Step 11: find a towel, washcloth, shampoo, and soap
Step 12: close the curtain (there is no door) remove clothes and put them in the window
Step 13: Pour water over your head with a cup, shampoo hair, shiver and shake from being cold as you wash.
Step 14: pour warm water over your head with a cup and sigh a warm sigh of relief. Repeat 5 times until hair is clean
Step 15: repeat the process for various body parts, shivering inbetween cup pourings. Forget about shaving because of extra large goosebumps.
Step 16: dry off with a towel. Get dressed.
Step 17: step out of the wet room onto dirt floor fresh and clean just to get muddy feet.
Firstly, let me admit that I am overwhelmingly grateful to have come as far as we have. The fact that we own land, live in a 2100 sq ft mud barn, and have all of the things we do have, is beautiful and an attestment to the power of people coming together to help other people.
Living in the city a year and a half ago, we had unlimited water, a hot water heater, and a bath any day we wanted (except for when there were power cuts.) Our dozen teens could jump in the shower when they needed, and being girls, I think that ability is important.
Fast forward to today, having lived on The Shire for 1 year and 2 1/2 months, I can honestly say, learning to bathe without a shower, without a hot water heater, without a proper bathroom, without a bathtub has been the hardest adjustment of all. It is even more difficult than having no lights at night.
In fact, it is so difficult to bathe, we often just forget or choose not to do it. Johnny informed me this morning that my last bath was Sunday, FIVE days ago. After spending my entire day in town yesterday at doctor's offices getting my ultrasound scan, I think I probably should bathe today. But the reality is, it takes too long to prepare the bath, and I have to bake bread today, which also takes half the day. So either I bathe, or I cook and feed the kids.
Now our current situation, we do not have an actual bathroom. The room we use to splash ourselves clean is also our laundry washing room and is usually full of kids washing their clothes.
We want to build a bathroom with a cement tub outside of the barn. It will have a kuni burner which is a metal water tank that has a fire pit under it. The fire will heat the water for the bath. Have you ever heard the phrase, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water?" Well, that is going to apply to us. One bath will bathe a number of people. Grownups, then kids or vise versa... That is life when one is conserving water. Still, having a bath is going to be so much better than pouring a cup over one's head! Plus, I hope to use it during baby Brook's arrival this December.
Here's the link to our campaign where you can help!