Learning How to Take a Proper Basin Bath

I came on this trip expecting to only take about one shower per week. I especially expected it to be that way in the village where there was no running water or electricity. However, this expectation was quickly changed as Megan Siebert and I woke up the first morning in the village.

It was difficult to communicate with our host grandmother because she hardly spoke any English and we didn’t know any Sosotho. Luckily, a lady next door came over to translate for us. First, we were asked if we had bathed. After saying we hadn’t, she took us into the second bedroom where they had hot water in a basin waiting for us. Although our translator was speaking English, we had trouble understanding her with her accent. We finally understood that we were to take our clothes off so that we could wash ourselves. At that point, all modesty went out the window. We had failed to bring washcloths because it wasn’t on our packing list, but, luckily, our host provided them for us. Megan and I learned that you wash from top to bottom and at the end we would wash our underwear in our bath water so that we could wear it again the next day.

Learning to bathe in a different country with trouble understanding directions is tough. However, we laughed through it and realized that it makes for a great story and was a good experience.

-Natalia Krahn