Upon our arrival back in Uganda, our home was a perfect example of Newton’s second law of thermodynamics: the entropy of an isolated system always increases.
Our house = isolated system
Our house = increased entropy
We discovered a forest growing in a part of our yard that no one could reach with trimmers. Trees and weeds had grown up through the cement, proving that it would not take long for plants to reclaim the earth if all the people were taken away.
Upon entering the house, we discovered a thick coat of dust all over everything. Honestly, it was not as bad as I’d anticipated. The worst part was the veil of spider webs draped across the halls and openings. You know how in the movies when people go into the crypt or the haunted house and they have to brush webs out of the way? Yeah, some places were like that.
Another disturbing detail was the pile of bird droppings just outside our back door. Pile is not an exaggeration. (Where is the barfy face emoji when you need it?)
We found our dust masks and started working — sweeping, dusting, mopping, wiping down walls and counters and shelves, removing all the cobwebs, pulling weeds and trees, sweeping the cement to remove the dirt. In a few hours we pushed back the entropy, slowly restoring order to our living areas. We needed to sleep in our house by that evening so we had to get it livable as soon as possible.
I’m so thankful for my hardworking kids! They jumped into the work, like it was a competition to see who could get the most accomplished. I think they did more work than I did!
Toward evening, we noticed that the water pressure was dropping in certain sinks in the house. We checked to see if water was still on in town. It was, so we kept working. We cleared grit from pipes that hadn’t been used in a while. The pressure seemed to improve.
The pressure for the hot water heater to the kids bathrooms remained weak. They ended up taking cold showers. 🙁 It was late and we couldn’t get a plumber to check it until morning and they needed showers after all the cleaning!
Once the kids were in bed, James and I started to clean up so we could go to bed. James had no sooner gotten in the shower and started soaping up than the water stopped. Nothing would come out of the shower. He dried as best he could and checked our water tank. (This required climbing a rickety ladder in the dark, onto a platform held up by two metal poles where the water tanks sit.) It was empty. That meant there was no water available to our bathroom. Turns out, while town water was still on, the pressure was so weak it wouldn’t fill our tanks. We’d used up our water because we didn’t realize there was a problem.
We were filthy. There was no way we could put our nastiness into our freshly made bed. The kid’s bathrooms still had water, so we snuck in there while they slept and took cold showers, too.
What a welcome home! Nothing like this to get us reacclimated to life in Uganda!
(Oh, and it only took part of two days to unpack. I could have had it done in one day if I’d have applied myself. It’s almost depressing how easy that was after all the work to get it packed in the first place!)