July 29, 2010

Rain Water in Bottles

Water is so precious to life! Most people do not know how precious it is until they are short of it. At RM1.00 a small bottle it is already more expensive than diesel. A man in a desert can even kill for a canteen (container_) of water. And animals too fight for water. Long ago Abraham and his men fought for a well. And so did many Chinese in Ancient China.

God in His splendid ways tested and evaluated His people. Testing and evaluation are not new 21st centuiry terms. God tested (assessed)Abraham and He chose people for different purposes in His own (evaluative) ways. One Biblical story I find difficult to forget whenever I see water and meet issues related to water:

Judges7 5-7 Gideon took the men down to the water and the Lord told him "Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog from every one who gets down on his knees to drink." There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it;all the others got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon "I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water...Tell everyone else to go home.."

When you drink your water - give God the respect - He is the source or creator of our water.

When I saw this "shelf- ful" of bottled  boiled rain water in Rh Chendang I was reminded of the early days in Sibu when my mother had to boil the rainwater we collected in our concrete well. Every morning she would dutifully boil two kettles of water on her wood fire Foochow stove. One kettle of hot water would be poured into an enamel basin for my father to wash his face! The kettles would turn black from the soot. She would pour the cooled water from the second kettle into the Sun Valley bottles for all of us to drink from. There would be six bottles on the cabinet. In the afternoon she would boil another kettle of water.  And in the evenings she would boil some more if the weather was cold and we would have warm water to bathe.

As I recall this I get so emotional ! She had to do so much more for us because there were so few electrical appliances for her to ease her burden.

Many housewives in the longhouses have been enjoying fairly good living standards in recent years in comparison to many others who do not have enough utilities further in land. They have better income as their husbands are becoming more educated and working further afield. Many have the pleasure of using electricity from their own private generators. Water pumps have helped alleviate their domestic chores as they no longer have to carry water from the river.

Some even drive home in a four wheel Toyota Hilux as their cash crops like rubber and oil palm yield better harvests.

However many longhouses still face shortages in fresh water. As rivers get more polluted and the rainy seasons get more irregular the Iban housewives have to be very proactive in saving drinking water for their families.

This housewife at Rh. Chendang (and it seems all the others are doing the same) keep their boiled rainwater in this way....very well arranged on the wall like cordial bottles in a sundry shop!!...Water bottles are the pride of the longhouse housewives!! When we visited them last month we were touched by her neatness and thoughtfulness. The water we brought was just enough for the day and evening. For our evening meal  she took out her water supply and quenched our thirst. She blessed us with her well stored water.

How many marks would you give this lady for her conservation of rain water for drinking and cooking?


Ann said...

Your Mum must have loved your Dad so muct to boil water for his face. It is a first for me. Haven;t heard anyone doing it.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Ann it was common practice for wife to boil water to prepare the wash water...in the "face basin" ....this was a refreshing kind of washing of face (after the shaving)...Today every one has hot water from pipes!!

Would you boil water for your water engineer when he needs to wipe his face?

Ah Ngao said...

if my wife got demam,i boil water for her to bath

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ah Ngao...you are so nice....best husband in Sarawak!! Your wife must be so happy with you.kekekekek

Anonymous said...
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Ann said...

I am a bad wife, he wants hot water, he boils it himself. LOl

Luckily, I married him here, and we have hot water.

Seriously, my dad did not have hot water to shave, so it is not in my family to do so.

What about you?

Ann said...

Sam caught the bad cold on Tuesday evening, Wednesday evening, I started feeling sick. So Thursday and Friday, we both stayed at home. The Ah Pek is getting the germs from us. Tonite I sleep in the guest room because I slept the afternoon and evening till mid night. Now it is almost 2am, and still chatting with you.

Winter is like this, colds and flus very rampant. Your sister would have told you. Kids sick also come to school. We joke, the noddles coming out of the nose, they just leave them. I always tell them, you go and get my tissue paper and blow you nose. When the blow, you hear thje glup glup flup, so much noodles. We get free flu jab, but it doesn't work 100%

Ah Ngao said...

aiyo....but my wife many times forgot how to appreciates lah - my ming sui i think. that's why i told Ann,next time i hope to be an Owl in my next life - simple as that

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hahahah Ann
I love the expression...noodles....we call them chendol...I know I used to tell my students to please keep their cold at home and don't spread it around the school and especially to their teachers!!

I still love to wipe kids' noses....and wash their hands.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao....
You still have a face basin??? Min puan...I just bought one with the double happiness...just for the fun of it...heheheheh.

Ann said...

I won't touch any part of the students when they have colds, or their hair in case they have nits.

I just point to my box of tissue paper and tell them to blow their nose.

Some girls come with their hair clips and ask me to clip their hair. I say no. I tell them, A has nits, i touch their hair, then I touch B, then B has nits, i touch C and C also have nits.

I just don't like to touch any one's hair. Except one day, one girl had her hair trapped in her ear ring and was hurting her. i made an exception. Lousy teacher.

Ann said...

Ngao still wants to be an owl. I told him, owls are harbinger of bad luck, I think even among the Malays. When Ngao becomes an owl, he got no friends, not even blogger ones.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

New York has bed bugs which are now totally millions and would cost just as much to get rid of them...
Nits continue to haunt us....I am horrified by them...and even have nightmares.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

\Let Ah Ngao be an owl...hoot hoot...I think he wants to be wise owl....

Ah Ngao said...

thankss Sarawakiana for respecting my wish.it's like telling someone," i want to be alone for a while " and that person replies," ok,that's fine and call me when you want my company"...* ahh....* that's so nice isn't it? hahaha !

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...the sie owl speaks....At times I want to be a cat....I can curl up on a sofa...and lots of people will cuddle me...and then I get to sleeezzzzzzzzp. But then I want to be a vegetarian cat because I cant stand rats...may be some fruits would be nice....oh yeah hope that my master will give me lots of fislike tapah. The wish list gets longer and longer.....Apoligies to Ann.....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sorry about my lack of knowledge about Kong Hoo folks...I always thought that fixing a wash basin with hot water is a very Chinese thing by women for their husband! It might be very medieval but I still see some women doing it nowadays..even if the basin is now a good sink...but the towel is always there....it is like a habit...The hot water is from the heater of course nowadays. ...

Ann said...

heheheh, Foochow women love their husband.
What about Foochow woman with a Iban husband????

Do go to Ngao's site and read about what I wrote about owls. You will go LOL x3

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Foochow woman married to an Iban husband? She will tell him go wash in the river hahahahahaha and don't forget to bring back a tank of water for me to bathe....hahahah

I am lucky I have rainwater from the blue tank in the longhouse. Each time I visit...I bring rain...When I went to Chongqing in July in 2007 I caused 42000 lightnings and a flood!! Chongqing never rains in July....believe you me....LOL

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