Is your water dirty? Does it smell like something died in your water tank?! Well do we have the right stuff for you! (It’s not actually anything really, just a story so you don’t have to feel so bad).

We bring you this commercial interruption with a few sneak peeks from our home (or home away from home) before continuing on our journey through Southeast Asia. 

So, without further ado, please welcome, your host, Beziiiii Lizziiiii!

Hello. Today I’d like to share with you some insight into what it is (or can be) like living in Cambodia. As we were venturing into a much more unfamiliar land we weren’t really missing our house in Sen Monorom, or at least I wasn’t. Though it is spacious and comfortable we’ve become so well acquainted with it that we’re starting to see its flaws. Though such flaws are not necessarily any fault of the house itself, they seem to assimilate without much resistance.

Still, whatever the issue, it’s important to step outside of one’s own space for a while and then after some time return to look on it with fresh (or maybe even more appreciative eyes) that is, once the house is in working order again.

You see, a few weeks before we left on our trip the water pump stopped working. Even though it had been pouring down rain for the last few days, for some odd reason the ole well showed dry. And when there is no water, there is no shower, no washing hands, no toilet, not laundry, no simple way to clean dishes, and worst of all (for me at least) no way to wash my feet!

We went to find a guy who knows how to fix these kinds of things and arranged for him to come that weekend. But when the time came for him to show, he was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately though, for some reason the pump started working again! Only this time the water was brown and smelled terrible.

We climbed up into the attic to look into the water tank to see if anything had died in it, but the water was so foggy we couldn’t see a thing! We decided to drain all the water out of the house, and then we poured bleach down the well and into the tank to kill any lingering bacteria. The last step was to turn on the pump again, only this time nothing came out.

That was it. No more water.

We had only a few more days until we needed to leave for our trip during which time we would surely have running water, the only problem was we wouldn’t have any clothes to wear for we had not been able to do our laundry for the past two weeks! But to our delight we discovered a laundromat that would wash our clothes for only a dollar a kilo and have them ready right when we needed them.

The day before we had to leave we had all our clothes fresh and clean ready to go, but what was more favorable was that all of the sudden we had water again! Although we still did not trust it, because even though it looked clear, it was not a very pleasing aroma. So, even though we had everything ready for during our trip, there wasn’t much to look forward to upon returning. Or so I thought.

When I returned home and pumped the water again it came out clear as glass and as non-repulsive as…well…as water should be. I still didn’t trust using it to drink, filtered or pasteurized, but at least I could finally do something about the amassing pile of dishes in our sink. 

The water continued to work clean and clear for some time and we were even able to do laundry. But then, like a fish out of water…well…we were really out of water!

I went out to check the well and saw that it was quite prolific in its supply of water, the real issue lied with the pump. When I flipped the switch to activate the pump there was no whirring or humming of machinery, just the pitter patter of rain. 

Out again.

We went to the guy who knows how to fix these kinds of things, agreed on a time, and when that time came, he didn’t show. But this time, rather than just letting it be, we went to find the guy. And find him we did. 

Poor guy was very busy, but he came just the same, and within fifteen minutes or more he pulled up the pump, undid the problematic knot in the hose, made a few adjustments and then sent it on its way back down the well. We turned the switch, heard it whir, and felt the water shooting through the hose up to the tank.

Before the man could leave we asked how much he would like us to pay him, but he said that it was okay, we didn’t need to pay. It was a favor.

Wow! Whatever the man’s reason was, I sure wasn’t going to complain for such a gift as it was.

There is much to be learned from this story, but a few things on the surface I want to note is how much I depend on water for more than just physiological needs. I was also inspired by the man’s generosity, and thankful that water is so accessible to us here and now too. We are in good hands indeed.

Now back to the journey!

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