A Mzungu in Africa

My life in St Judes School,Tanzania from January 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

There’s a (W)hole load of uses for the Bucket….

I’ve never given much thought to buckets before. But I’ve never had much reason to! I’m sure they are quite common in the world I grew up in but featured quite rarely in my life.

In Tanzania, they seem to be the very foundation upon which the country is built. Okay, so that’s probably a slight exaggeration but without doubt, it certainly plays a much greater role than in the Western World.

I suppose it comes down to the fact that necessity really is the mother of invention – quite simply, people here have to be a lot more creative than they would if they had more money. Where we would use a variety of different modern conveniences for various tasks, this one basic invention is quite sufficient here for many many things.

My friends (okay, so just Felicity and Suzanne) and I have been so fascinated by the omnipresent bucket that we have compiled a list of some of the many ways we way seen it used:

Monduli Masai Market - Buckets are VERY popular here for all manner of things

* To catch rainwater
* To catch water from the shower (then re-used for flushing toilets)
*To store clean water for use in times of water shortages
* To hold water which can be scooped out and poured over children’s hands (to wash them)
* To carry water from a tap to a house
* To wash clothes in
* To hold dirty dishes (until there is water to wash them)
* To wash dishes in (when there is water)
* To store rice
* To store cooking oil
* As a bin (in offices etc)
* As a chopping board
* As a seat on the bus (and quite a comfortable one at that)
* To measure vegetables/ fruit in the market (they use a smaller bucket)
* As a child’s bath (just drop them in)
* As a adult’s bath (by scooping water from it using a smaller plastic container). With a bigger bucket/ an adult can get in (check out Suzanne).
* As a container to hold things (and then carried on ones’s head)
* To hold things at the market (eg eggs, knives etc) so they can be sold to passers-by (especially us Mzungu)
* To stand on (like a pretty small ladder)

And I'm sure there's more. Watch this space...

In the meantime, Suzanne loves her bucket bath!


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