You may not realize it, oh dwellers of civilized America, but sinks, toilets, and shower heads, particularly ones that drain, flush and have water pressure, are amazing commodities. For the past 8 months, I've lived with a toilet that only flushes when you dump a bucket of water into it, no sink in the bathroom, a kitchen sink that drains straight onto the floor, and a shower with an open pipe instead of a head.
Living without the wonders of American plumbing really doesn't bother me; I tend to forget until someone visits and is disgusted by our primitive ways. Sometimes, though, we are spoiled by our friends and given luxuries that make our lives just a little bit nicer. While I was in Nicaragua and Grace and Chris were in America, our new Canadian friend, Phil, installed a sink, a flushing toilet, and a shower head in the Safe House. He also fixed our kitchen sink, changed the broken lock on our door, and convinced a friend to fix the light fixture in the bathroom.
Phil wasn't the only one to bless me while I was traveling. His wife, Ang, taught my nursing assistant classes - documentation, bed-making, bed baths, taking temperatures, and putting in IVs. She has been helping in clinic as well, and together, she and Phil have befriended and are mentoring JB, the student that I hope will replace Oscar when medical school begins. They even babysat Tug for us while we were gone!
Phil and Ang arrived in February for what was supposed to be a 3 month trial run, giving them a chance to see if they liked the work and environment of Gonaives and giving us a chance to see if they fit the community. I think the trial run truly only lasted a few weeks - we knew and they knew very quickly that this place is right for them.
In case you were wondering, I felt that way before they gave me modern plumbing!