Early in the quiet of morning, I grab my orange bucket and a small two-liter pitcher, placing them under the spigot found in the side-yard of our accommodations. As I wait for the clean bucket to fill, I arrange my towel, shampoo and soap in my private shower stall; a cement structure with the walls filled in with dried mud and coconut tree bristles.
At last I place my bright bucket of clear water on the small bench in the shower. Remembering that this water is clear but not clean enough to drink, I remind myself not to let any drip into my mouth. I peel off my sticky clothes, anxious for the cool water to wash away the oppressive stickiness left behind by so much perspiring and glistening.
Slowly and deliberately, I pour a stream of water over my head, drizzling it so that the wet fresh drops have a chance to cool my scalp before descending down my neck, over my shoulders, down my arms, cooling and refreshing as it moves on down to my feet clad in flip flops.
Frothing up my washcloth, I spread fresh smells and clean feelings over my body. Carefully I shampoo my hair, gently massaging my scalp and neck, arms and legs. And it is at this moment that I revel in the quiet and unhurried moments of my dip bath in Kenya.
Anticipating the refreshing sensation of the water, I again let it drip slowly from the pitcher to run through my hair. Rinsing away shampoo and soap, leaving chilly droplets of pure heaven behind.
Again, a third, a fourth and, if I'm careful, a fifth time I let the water cascade down my hot flesh turning it cool and feeling blissfully refreshed. When the water is gone, I do not feel despair. Rather I revel in gratitude for each drop of water that was in my orange bucket.
It matters not that I am shiny and sticky again just minutes later. The heat and humidity waste no time returning, but I hold onto the memory of the cool tingling sensations and that is enough for me to face the day ahead.