Friday, July 15, 2011

How-to Friday: How to bucket bathe

When I first came to uganda we were taught certain things in order to be able to survive in our host homes. We had to learn to cook, to clean (mopping here is very different), to wash our clothes, to pee in a squatty (I will never forget Margaret demonstrating this for our class!) and how to bathe ourselves. I am pretty sure it was my teacher Gwyn who got up in front of our class and demonstrated how to bathe without running water, a luxury that few people have here. So I grabbed a couple of my sisters and had them demonstrate how to take a proper bucket bath.

Our tap

Gladys getting water

The bucket is an essential ingredient of a bucket bath. If you are lucky you will have a tap nearby (like we do!) otherwise you have to carry your water from a well, which is kind of a bummer. There are some days in America when I seriously can not get up the motivation to walk into the shower and turn the knob. I guess here it helps that there is serious cultural expectation to bathe frequently. Does that exist in America and I just choose to ignore it?

Getting good and dirty before the bath

Normally swimsuits are not worn for this.
She thought I was totally crazy for making her
wear one.
Dorkus and Gladys bathe in pairs. Bathing with friends is always more fun!

Step One: Splash water on your friend. Or if bathing alone splash water on yourself.

Step two: Soap up.

Scrubby scrub

I am pretty sure she was shivering by this point. I am not sure why
this activity happens outdoors. 

Scrub the toes. I always forget this part!
Step three: Add more water and keep scrubbing.

Step four: Rinse and if needed repeat. Having someone pour water on you is basically the same thing as a shower. I am pretty sure I would be fine with not having running water for years.

Reliable electricity is another thing though... That story still to come.


  1. You have a tap?!?!?!?! Does it ever run dry?

  2. We do have a tap. You are probably the only person reading who is impressed by our tap. Love you for that.

    It actually jsut started running dry once in a while. The whole neighborhood has been losing water for like 12 hours. But we keep a tank full inside so we have not been without water yet. Praise the Lord!

    - Kels