With our first walk to town, we crossed a little bridge over a stream. We immediately recognized it as sewer drainage by the look and smell. Great. There are 2-3 areas on our walk where--under weeds, grass and refuge, we can smell sewage draining from the houses above. Double Great!
For the first two weeks we were here, we had no hot water for our showers. We heated water for "sponge baths," and dreaded taking our baths in the cold every morning. We wondered if this was typical and if we just had to live with it. Also, there was a horrid sewer smell coming from the shower drain. When anyone came to the house, the odor was so embarrassing. Again, we wondered if this was typical, and hesitated to complain. It took 2 weeks for others to realize from our comments that we really did have problems that needed to be fixed. The Mission President threatened to move us to another place; the owner came right away and fixed our water pressure, lack of hot water and sewer problems. Now, we no longer dread living here for 18 mos., and we are more accustomed to water issues here. "We'll go with the flow"--- uh, wrong choice of words!
In Bocaiúva, kitchens have one spigot for cold water. People wash their dishes with cold water, clean floors with cold water, and wash clothes with cold water. We bought a teapot and always wash dishes with hot water. Our washing machine is in the kitchen, so our laundry is done with cold water--and never comes very clean. Showers here are huge alien-like appliances that heat water passing through it. There is no barrier between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom, so everything has to be mopped and wiped down before we leave. I am still learning how to regulate the shower temperature, and have issues with cleaning and mopping with water at the church--but that's another topic for another day.