Eight months. Six plumbers. Thousands of meticais (the Mozambican currency). After countless visits, drilling, breaking, bucket bathing, replacing, cold showering, leaking, hand washing, hammering, episodes of flooding, and meters of new piping, I FINALLY have adequate plumbing in my apartment.
I’ve learned a great deal throughout the process such as new Portuguese vocabulary and patience I never knew was there. I’ve realized much about Mozambican culture, work ethic, time and money management, and crisis mitigation. I’ve gotten to know my landlord and the Indian neighbors below me quite well throughout the process (and have even had a few conversations with them that don’t involve screaming about their kitchen ceiling dripping).
Now each of my fixtures has a story to tell; like how the bathroom sink has been on and off of the wall four times. And now every time I close a faucet and it stays off or every time I watch dirty water magically disappear into the wall and not the floor, I realize how truly blessed I am. I will never again take for granted the ability to wash dishes in a sink. I’ll never stop being amazed at the hot water falling from the showerhead. I’ll never forget the back-straining, knuckle-tearing hours of hand washing of clothes I endured for weeks on end, only to turn around and dump the dirty water in the toilet, because that was the only “drain” that worked.
But at least there are stories to tell and sighs of relief to be had. For those stories that words cannot capture, here are some visual highlights of my glorious plumbing process.