Day Zero Survival Checklist, Naturally…

Guys. Remember when I wrote this post yeeeeeeeeeeeeears back on using 10L of water a day? And how funny it was because, really, it was so very unrealistic and so not real, and I could laugh about it because I had a gazillion liters of water in my taps and under my house and water was life and, well, I had plenty of it…

Well, how the tables have turned. Cape Town now finds itself in this real-life nightmare. This real-life nightmare which has gone from shock-horror scare tactics, and overracting about how bad it all is, to genuine scare tactics, queueing for water at the shops while trying to wrap our minds about lining up for a daily ration of water. Where? Who knows. How will it work? No one can quite tell us that either. SABC News keeps playing this segment highlighting how some rural communities have lived on a trickle of water for centuries, and while it is eye opening and inspiring, THIS IS CAPE TOWN. Wealthy, on the international stage, leading in arts and culture, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, best coffee shops in the world CAPE.TOWN.

So here we are: 

So, here’s my humble 2c on how we can defeat Day Zero. #defeatdayzero.

Firstly, I’ll gently nudge you into OBEYING the freaking rules set out by the City of Cape Town. In point form:

  • Amongst the most obvious…
  • Please don’t shower every day. You really don’t have to. If you smell good all the time we will start to judge you.
  • Collect grey water for EVERYTHING. (Please also store this safely! I have a toddler around the house so we are really careful about where and how water is stored).
  • Flush once a day (with grey water from the dishwasher or washing machine).
  • Wash your clothes and your dishes on ECO cycles. Test them and see which cycles use less water.

Secondly, my ECO-POINTERS:

My personal choices for the checklist below would be Nu-Eco hand sanitizer, Pure Beginnings biodegradable wet wipes (as well as mozzie spray, because those mozzies like water collection spots it seems!) and EcoPack‘s biodegradable bowls and cups for your home.

Also, as Wellness Mama suggests, you can use arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo alternative for bonde hair and Cocoafair cocoa powder for dark hair. I kid you not.

Also, go with a buddy to collect water at the spring, day or night. Consider it bonding time – turning a crisis into a standing coffee date (literally, standing).

Finally, some extra thoughts courtesy of EcoPack:

  1. Make a Stay Soft & water solution to spray clothes and hang up to dry
  2. Clean counters with disposable wipes
  3. Wash yourself with wet wipes
  4. Throw toilet paper used for urinating in a lined bin instead of the toilet – add sawdust or bicarb to control odor
  5. Fill toilet cistern with water instead of straight into the toilet
  6. Use microfiber cloths rather than sponges as they become unsanitary faster
  7. Ladies can extend the life of their underwear by wearing panty liners
  8. Use store bought water for drinking only
  9. Use biodegradable & compostable disposable cups, plates & bowls where possible to save water
  10. If you have to wash dishes, wipe as clean as possible with paper towels first
  11. Buy food that requires no water during preparation
  12. Wear fabrics like cotton that breaths to avoid odors from developing due to sweat & bacteria
  13. Use a bicarb & coconut oil mixture as deodorant as it is more effective than traditional store bought deodorants
  14. Use vinegar in a spray bottle for cleaning surfaces.

We’re in this together Cape Town! We really are. Let’s live like it.

Pic credit: www.ewn.co.za, www.msn.com, www.businesslive.co.za, www.ecopack.co.za, City of Cape Town.

Reflections on Christmas, by a Doula (me), and not a Theologian (the hub).

I love Christmas. There is so much to love about it – the food, the festivities, the giving, the joy. Only this year did I calculate exactly how many family traditions (or events) we shmoosh into this beautiful period of celebration. There are many.

Between my husband and my family, I could count over 10. From baking our own mince pies, to acting the nativity scene (dressed up and with specific roles!), to Uncle Paul’s Christmas Party and Carols at Kirstenbosch. This season is full – and wonderful.

And so full of WONDER. For so many years we celebrated Jesus’s birth – in the manger, with angels and shepherds and that all important star – all so neat and tidy and lovely sitting in the church pew thinking ‘let’s hurry home now and open presents’ (a firm childhood memory of mine)…

Only after having my own kids (and falling in love with birth) have I begun to imagine that birth differently. I love to imagine how hard it must’ve been for Mary and Joseph to (physically) escape to Bethlehem. (If you’ve had those STABBING pains UP your vajay-jay as if you’re about to give birth there and then can you imagine what that must have been like for Mary). I wonder how often she thought she might not make it – with the bobbing up and down on a donkey and Jesus most likely decending into position, pushing on her bladder. I imagine her fear and desperation not finding a place to stay, and then the mix of relief and discomfort finding a stable, a place to finally sit down, and then ‘prepare for the birth’. I wonder how long her birth was, how long did she push for (birth-nerd talk), and how the baby was delivered? At what point did her waters break? Was he breach? Was he posterior? How did Joseph handle it all? Did he freak out? Had either of them seen birth before – they were young… What did they do with the umbilical cord? Was there a moment of divine intervention from heaven above, or was it all really… human. This is BIRTH. Real, raw, scary, beautiful, empowering BIRTH. Yet the birth of a King.

Was there a split second of Peace on Earth? I doubt Mary was wearing white cloths neatly wrapped around her body (for one, there was no Aerial or Omo back in that day). If you’ve seen birth, nothing remains white. The cloth Jesus was wrapped in must have been covered with amniotic fluid, vernix and blood. This was the very messy, very real, very on-the-run birth of Christ. The Christ, the Saviour of the World. I wonder how long Mary and Joseph stared at Jesus wondering if he really was their Saviour.

And so as I reflect this Christmas, I think what I’m realising is that things often don’t look ‘right’. Surely Jesus should’ve had more to wear than swaddling cloths and a more comfy bed than a used animal trough? This picture is nothing like immaculately wrapped up gifts under the tree and the perfectly roasted gammon presented on a Pinterest worthy dining room table. There is nothing wrong with those things – I too love to celebrate WELL – but it seems the picture of Jesus’ birth and the deeper truth sometimes don’t seem to match up in ways we might imagine. This messy birth, and our Saviour on earth. This confusion leads us to Trust; to have Faith – two things it seems we need to possess in larger and larger quantities nowadays, in a world spinning off its axis and one in which we control far less than what we like to believe. Life is hard, and life can be scary; there are unknowns, and mess seems to be everywhere. In our humanness, we cannot understand it – well, I sure can’t.

Luke 2:12: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”

Wherever you find yourself currently… It’s coming. He is Hope. Be it in your heart, or here again in his Creation, we await his coming. We sit in the labour pains of the mysteries to come.

It’s almost time. Keep pushing, keep breathing. Behold, He is coming soon.

Image Credit: Photo by Jaimie Trueblood/newline.wireimage.com, https://brandonacox.com/advent-always-hope/.