After a successful working weekend in Jimma, two volunteers and I caught a mini bus back to Agaro. It usually takes an hour, but this mini bus made an unusual stop. There was a giant branch-like contraption sticking out of the road and several people standing around staring. My gaze soon shifted to the left, where a giant power line was half tilted, ready to fall at any moment. I almost knew before I asked… is there power in Agaro?
No, they said. It disappeared.
There’s no telling how long a situation like this will take to fix. As an added surprise, both the water and phone network went down with it.
So Dave, Marissa and I arrived in Agaro with limited options. Our days went something like this:
√ Go to the market, come home and use the remaining water I have stored to wash and peel veggies for dinner. Slowly.
√ Pull down the small box of Christmas items from last year. Set up a mini tree, hang a few stockings. Stand back and admire.
√ Take quizzes from Oprah and Cosmo magazines. (Turns out we’re all romantics, and can keep our cool under pressure.)
√ Prepare dinner by headlamps and candlelight. (Part camping, part alluring ambiance?)
√ Explore Cosmo for all the new fashion, culture and beauty trends we’ll never be a part of.
√ Discover a million and one tricks to do with matches.
√ Visit the small local library… Read the Encyclopedia Britannica circa 1981, The Babysitters Club and several books on Karl Marx.
√ Find someone along the road selling coffee they made with a charcoal fire.
√ Do crossword puzzles from a book published sometime in the 1990’s.
√ Sit around listening to my iPod until the last of it’s battery is drained.
√ Read some more.
√ Discus options.
Agaro is really hot this time of year. We can buy bottled water for drinking, but as for washing our bodies, our clothes, our dishes… you begin to understand what a serious commodity water is. Going weeks without water, you feel hot and dirty. Your dishes pile up. You dream of cold showers and clean clothes.
So… our options: Stick around Agaro and go through the whole experience we’re all too familiar with. OR. Get on a mini bus back to Jimma, share a hotel and take a shower.
Call me a cheater, but that shower was amazing.