Have you ever experienced outdoor washing in winter?

Wash day
Wash day

It’s really cold outside. In some parts of the small stream water is frozen. Some days it is even worse and water accessibility is becoming a huge problem. Water is always limited and the dwells often miles away. But then, in winter times, the remaining water is often frozen …  that’s India in the North. India in the Himalayas.

People wear many clothes to stay warm. In most of the small houses there is just one small room where three, four people, families, live together. They heat with woods collected during the year. Sometimes they add some paper, plastics, waste…  It’s not enough for a 24 hours nice inhouse temperature. Often they have small inhouse heaters working with electricity. But electricity is expensive and the incomes are low. Some days electricity is simply gone.

But there are many other  issues coming with the cold. Have you ever thought about washing with low temperatures?

A real issue is washing the clothes. No water tap at home, no hot water, no washing machine nor money to bring it somewhere else. I just feel the frozen hands when looking at the woman who is washing a few things in front. To my way of thinking, there is much to be thankful for on our wash days in modern homes.

And then there is the toilet issue. Only a few people have access to inhouse toilets. But here community toilets are rare – and if they exist they do not work with water. Which would not even work in the cold months. Well, here I experienced the first toilet made of sand.

We just simply forget easily how life can look – because of missing personal experiences. I think that the biggest challenge of modern “artificial” life is that we forget how it looked before, how it felt – and we forget too easily how it still looks for millions of other people. Outside. In other parts if the world, or even a few streets away only.

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