I just bought a new kettle.

I have a big red scald mark on my left thumb and a popped lymph blister that is glistening and stinging. I have been boiling water in the pressure cooker, its the largets kitchen implement there is in my kitchen. Its the same one Thaths used to boil water when he was here. And the other day the lid got twisted on; normally I just lay it on top, not using the pressure facility but this time it got twisted which meant it made a seal. After a while I heard the pressure valve going and decided to take the lid off 😥

Boiling water sprayed over my hand and down my clothes too. I was so busy trying to avoid contact with my hot, wet clothing I neglected to put my scalded hand in cold water. In any case the water supply was off at that time so there was no water in the tap (“no water in the pool, no water in the bog and only a bleeding lizard in the bidet“).

Thinking about all this, and the recent heavy rains that mark the beginning of a rainy season here in Tala, made me think about my Maji and I thought you might like to know why I was boiling a big pan of water in the first place. So, by the medium of photo love I am going to tell you the story of my drinking water:

There is a sort of spigot above the sink, or is it a fawcet? One of the first things that struck me when I movd in to the house was that there is a hasp on the tap so that it can be locked shut with a padlock. Simple technology I have never seen before. The water comes from a bore-hole which was sunk a few years ago. Before that the college bought its water and had it delivered in a truck. Water was rationed to the girls in buckets. The new buildings have systems to catch rainwater fom the roofs in big tanks. There is one at my house too but the tank leaked, they disconnected it from the gutters and started to fix it but never finished it. I pushed it over (its big, about 5′ tall) so that it was no longer open at the top to stop Mosquitos breeding in it.
drawingWater (31k image)

One pressure-cooker load goes on the stove. Takes a while to come to the boil and then it sits there boiling for 10 minutes which I time (sometimes) with the countdown-timer on my mobile phone (and you thought nobody ever used those)
boilingWater (17k image)

After 10 minutes the gas is turned off and the whole thing stands to cool down over-night or during the day (I have to do this on average more than once a day but twice every day would be too much. Hmm, reminds me of something else…:O)

When it’s cool it gets poured into this beauty:
waterfilter (15k image)

The top cylinder has these three ceramic filter-elements called candles.
filteringWater (29k image)

It takes several hours for the boiled water to seep into the bottom cylinder which has a tap from which I draw water for drinking and cooking.
drinkingWater (35k image)

I fill a couple of plastic bottles and put in the fridge for making up Passion or Pineapple squash.

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