This is what you expect, right? You turn on the faucet and water comes out. I learned on my first day that this is not always so. I was alone in a new country, new house, half bottle of drinking water on hand, and when I turned the faucet nothing came out.
In the summer when there isn’t any rain water shortages are common. When it rains too much the lines get clogged with mud and the water is off until they can be cleaned. If they are fixing something, the water is off. No one seems to know why the water is off most of the time and no one seems to get very upset about it either. Thankfully the water always seems to come back on later. I can only think of once when it was out for more than a day and a water truck came through the neighborhood to fill any container that you gave them.
Panama is working hard to upgrade infrastructure, including the water systems and we have fewer outages than when we arrived five years ago. But, it still happens. Last Saturday the water slowed to a trickle, and then went out. It was back at night but Sunday was more of the same. Monday was variable, but mostly low water pressure. We are in a lower part of the neighborhood so we often have a trickle where the higher houses have nothing.
We have gallons of water on hand so it’s only inconvient when the water goes out. Laundry and cleaning wait, and hair doesn’t get washed. Many houses have water tanks to see them through outages but with just the two of us in a rented house, we are ok without one. I’m always thankful when the water is back on though, and think about the many people in the world who never have water in their homes or even access to any clean water at all.
If we are without something, I’m glad it’s water. Electricity has been very reliable. It goes out once in a great while but almost never for very long. Internet has been equally reliable.
Life in Panama means some things are different, or you do without some things that you always took for granted. But we think, for us, these things are very minor compared to the many things that are so much better. It’s also good to think about what is really important, and to be thankful for clean water even when it occasionally comes in a gallon jug.