Africa: The Joys of a Bucket Bath

Notes from Africa: The Joys of a Bucket Bath


Waste not, Want not. Going green in Liberia



Steps to a great bucket bath:

1. Heat up a tea kettle and pan of water on the gas stove.


2.Pour hot water (carefully) into bucket in tub.


3. Let cool, but not too much. Get your soap and rag..


4.Enjoy a refreshing bucket bath.


5. Put bucket underneath sink and brush your teeth (with filtered water. Do not waste.)Let sink water drain into bucket.


6. Pour water from bucket into commode tank and flush thoroughly.


7.You’ve just used about two gallons of water to take care of multiple needs, enjoying every step of the way.

When you know there will be long stretches of water during a day, you learn to cherish and store it.

It’s amazing how wasteful I am in America.I run tap water the entire time I’m brushing my teeth, flush numerous times daily, and don’t consider things I watch closely in Africa.


I handed one of our guests a second paper towel at a meal and he politely waved me off. He’d never consider using a second paper towel when he is holding one.


The same thing is true with food.Portions are much smaller and nothing is wasted.One of our teacher friends enjoyed eating her chicken bones, getting nutrition out of every bite.


We are fortunate our lunches contain chicken or fish—this is unheard of in Liberia.Rice, beans, and greens are the staples.Even now folks are saving up for July 26, Liberia’s Independence Day.They’ll splurge on food that day and some folks will eat meat for one of the few days of the entire year.


Electricity.You never know when it’s going to be on or off.You learn to enjoy it and plan for when it’s off.


I share these thoughts not to make anyone feel guilty.


Just thankful.


Gratitude is one of the hallmarks of this country, where they have so little.(We saw a taxi whose driver had evidently survived the war. Painted on his taxi was,“Thank God I made it.”

It says a great deal.


Thank God.

I thank Him too.

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