Bucket Baths

This is the inside of our shower.

This is the outside of our shower:

We've been spending 1 week living in our oversized shed/garage.  We're trying to feel a bit of what it might be like to live like 1.2 billion people in the world: with an income of less than $1.50 a day.

I built our shower this way because it reminded me of a week I spent living with a Nicaraguan family in a little town called La Ceibita.

The houses in La Ceibita looked like these:

The house I stayed in didn't have a shower or a bathroom.  The bathroom was about 25 yards from the house in a little hut.  The hut had a cement toilet that sat over a hole in the ground.  That week, I wiped myself with newspaper.

The place for bathing was 10 yards from the house.  It was a cement slab with wooden walls on three sides.  The fourth wall was a blanket draped over some wire.  The bathing procedure was:

  • take a bucket to the barrel that was used to collect rain water
  • fill your bucket
  • bring your towel and a bar of soap onto the slab of cement
  • take your clothes of and hang them on the top of the wooden walls
  • use a cup to get yourself wet
  • wash
  • rinse
  • funny tidbit: the walls were way to short for me.  Most of the people in Nicaragua (at least the ones that I saw) were not as tall as my shoulders.  So their walls only covered up to my shoulders.  Everyone walking by could see me bathing.

One time I was taking my bucket bath and it started to rain.  Everyone rushed outside to get the laundry out of the rain.  A lot of the laundry was hanging on the shower walls.  Everyone giggled as they collected the clothes off of shower walls where the tall white guy was bathing himself.

So this week I'm taking a bucket baths again.  I'm taking bucket baths to remind myself of the friends I met in Nicaragua.  I'm taking bucket baths to remind myself that not everyone in the world has all the luxuries that I have.  I'm inviting my wife and daughters to take bucket baths so they can learn about economic inequality.

I'm so thankful we are doing this "live in our garage" project.  It's bringing up some beautiful conversations.  My wife wrote about some of her thoughts here and we'll both share more in days to come on SoMuchHope.com/sow.  Stay tuned.

Money that we raise from this "Living In Our Garage Project" will go to www.PottersHouse.org.gt and/or similar organizations.