When we first moved into this house, I wondered why we needed those 4 HUGE jugs of drinking water that were placed behind the kitchen door. They are 19 liter or 5 gallon jugs each and I wondered how long it would take to use THAT MUCH drinking water. After being here for a few weeks we have learned some things about water and how it works around here. We not only drink this water but we also use it to rinse off our produce that we have soaked in iodine or have washed in hot soapy water. We use this drinking water more than we had anticipated.
The jugs we have are all labeled Ciel. We have competing water companies here and they are Ciel, Electrolux and one other one. If you have a Ciel bottle, like we do, Electrolux will not fill it for you. If you want to use the Electrolux services, you first need to buy their 5 gallon jug for 52 pesos and they will come by on certain scheduled days and take your empty jug and replace it with a full one for 24 pesos. Since our home came with only Ciel jugs, we use their services which cost 26 pesos for each refill and delivery. Should we want another jug, we would pay 52 pesos. We expect that the services of the third water company are similar. The advantage of having any of these delivery services is that they will come to the house and put the jugs wherever you tell them. Thus, we don't need to lift and haul the approximate 40 pounds of water in each jug. Not only is there the weight, there is also the distance. We live in an "interior" house and the jugs have to be hauled about 60 feet down a confined walkway just to get to our front door.
We talked to Brother and Sister Day about our water situation and learned they have jugs from all three water companies and so no matter what company is in their neighborhood, they can get a jug of water. They like their system and we are thinking about diversifying but haven't done it yet.
Ciel trucks are in our neighborhood on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We are not home on Saturdays from about 7:30 a.m. to about 7:30 p.m. so we can't use their services on Saturday. On Wednesdays, they come "about" from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. but that is a BIG about. We are home from the temple from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. before we return so the timing should work with the Ciel deliveries. It has actually worked just twice in the 7 weeks we have been here. Of course Christmas and New Years were on Wednesdays this past year so there were no deliveries and our drinking water was getting low.
We notice and have walked by each day on our way to and from the temple, a place near our corner where they fill water jugs for 12 pesos each. There is a large diagram on the front of their store explaining their sanitary process and the price. We stored this information in the back of our minds. One day we stopped and asked if they would fill Ciel jugs and were happy to learn they will fill jugs no matter from what company we bought them.
I guess one more aspect to keep is mind is that the jugs are placed upside down into a dispenser. This dispenser was in the corner on our cupboard and with the third jug of water that Paul needed to maneuver up high into that corner, he strained his back. So we have moved where we place the dispenser and now he does it with 65 year old ease and an extra hand from the self-appointed supervisor ;o)
We have had a lot of rain during the Christmas and New Years holidays, so one bright and sunny Friday after we arrived home from the temple and saw that our last jug was 1/2 full, the self-appointed supervisor suggested maybe it was time to try out the neighborhood filling station rather than waiting to "see if" the water would last and/or we connected with Ceil on Wednesday. Also, we could use a taxi to carry us and the jug from the processing place to our home if needs be.
So the two of us walked the approximate 300 yards to the corner filling station with our Ceil jug and a jump rope in hand. We were rather impressed because in plain view behind their clean windows we sat them wash out our jug with pressurized water, fill it again and shrink wrap the lid in place. The girl running the system said "gracias Elder" when Paul gave her the jug even though he wasn't wearing his name badge. She wore white gloves and a white mask during this filling-the-jug operation. A younger couple ahead of us had a car and just put their 3 jugs in the back of it and drove away. They seemed to be taking advantage of the money they would save by not having it delivered. Once our jug was ready and we paid the 12 pesos, we got out the rope and slipped it through the formed plastic handle on the side of the jug and we walked our bottle back home again as the jug rotated and bumped into our knees along the way.
Now the self-appointed supervisor feels a lot more secure as we wait for this next fateful Wednesday to arrive. Worse case scenario would be another walk to the corner.
So what is the point of this rather long and detailed epistle about our drinking water? I am not sure other than to let you peek into our daily life and to help you realize that clean water effortlessly flowing into your own homes is one of those things we never think about but is truly a blessing! Be grateful!