By Vicki Scott
Adding to my growing list of blessings I take for granted would be the luxury of a good hot shower. I learned as much last week when we noticed that the shower was leaking. Instead of finding a plumber, my darling husband Alan who can fix most anything, took the shower apart. He found that the part we needed had to be ordered, and the salesman said the last customer had to wait three days. We could have lived with the leak, but the temperature thingy was broken in the process of inspection and we only have one shower. We ordered the part on a Thursday, and apparently no one counts weekends in these three days for delivery. Alan thought the temperature was set on hot when it broke. It was not.
The situation reminded me of a mission trip I took to Pampachiri, Peru in 2010. Pampachiri sits 11,000 feet above sea level. Cheaha Mountain is approximately 2,116 feet above sea level to give a little comparison. There was no hot water where we were staying. The showers in our unit flowed down from a mountain that had icicles on the sides.
There were seven of us – five men, my daughter, Eva and me. To get to Pampachiri, we had to spend one night in Lima before going in, and another night in Lima before leaving (I took hot showers in Lima). I learned two things in Lima – what a hostel was and not to flush the toilet paper. We could not flush the toilet paper at all while we were in South America.
This was happening during the time Joran van der Sloot was on trial for the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez. The tension was real, and I feel tough for making it out with nothing but a story. Our team of men kept my daughter and I surrounded during the whole trip. I praise God for His protection at this time. I still pray for the families involved in all this as well. To my limited knowledge, Natalie Holloway has not been found. My heart is broken for all the people involved.
In Pampachiri, there was less tension and I fell in love with the villagers, most of whom were Incan Indians, and boy, could they cook! The adobe huts were a neat experience as well, along with the alpaca blankets that kept us warm at night. There was one doctor who worked until lunch. The whole town shut down for rest from 12 to 2:30 p.m. We stayed in Pampachiri nine days.
One of the men in or group eventually decided to take a shower. The showers and the bathrooms were outside stalls. Our unit’s owner had a parrot that peeked under the stall when we used the toilet. I tried to use the small faucet to wash my hair, and my whole head froze. I do not know how to explain that feeling, but I knew I was not going to be able to take a whole shower.
However, Eva could not take it anymore. She also decided to take a shower. We all sat on the porch and laughed while she squealed while the freezing cold water poured over her. After Eva’s experience, I do not think anyone else attempted to take a shower, but we learned to improvise.
The first thing I did when I returned home was take a long, hot shower for as long I could stand!
Confirming the fact that I might not have survived the shower in Pampachiri, I did the ice water challenge several years later, and I was cold for at least a week. When I was younger, it might have bothered me to be so weak, but at my present age, it does not bother me one bit.
Doing whatever it takes, I’m using the art of improvising that I learned in 2010 until we get our shower fixed. We hope it will be next week, but there are no guarantees. I praise God for hot showers, and with this being the only difficulty we are dealing with now, we all are truly blessed. Stay safe, y’all. I pray for healing on everyone affected by COVID-19.