I often feel like the word work carries such heavier weight here. Work is generally not just your 9-5, monday to friday thing. Life is work.
As I recently moved to more basic accommodations, I’m finding out more and more how much life is work. Especially in the form of hauling water.
There is no running water in my house. To have water to do things like drink, flush the “toilet”, shower, wash dishes ect I have to take my bucket and go to the tap. The tap is about a 3-5 minute walk away, depending on my pace. What I’ve learned recently is if it’s evening, then I have to go to a little stream for water. This is farther away and I’ve decided should be avoided until my muscles get stronger. It was a brutal walk back with that bucket of water.
This “work” is just part of life. And my water tap isn’t even that far away. In some places here in Tanzania, you must walk upwards of 5 kilometers to fetch your water, and then carry it all the way back.
In addition to these sorts of things, working hours tend to be longer. The more people I have talked the more I learn that an 8 hour day is not very common. For instance, the nannies at the orphanage work a day shift from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm, but the night shift is 4:30 pm to 7:30 am. Granted they’re allowed to take turns sleeping, but that’s still a long night!
If you think about it in terms of the fact they probably had to fetch water before work, maybe also firewood, and then take public transport and/or walk, their days start well before 7:30. Nothing is “quick and instant”, you don’t just turn on the tap in your bathroom for a hot shower, or stick a poptart in the toaster for breakfast.
Life is work.