One of the things about living life in Timor that we have relearnt this week is about water. Water is something we don’t think too much about in Australia until it isn’t there. For most of us in Australia, we simply turn on the tap and it is there, flowing freely from the tap. It is only when the water is off for some reason that we even consider how much we need this precious commodity.
In Dili, where we live, opinion is divided about the wisdom of drinking the tap water as a foreign visitor. Some do and some don’t. Sam and Kim are choosing not too for now as they have more sensitive tummies, Jason divided in his choices. So we use tap water for dishes, showers, washing our hands, washing our clothes and watering the garden, but for drinking, cleaning vegetables and brushing our teeth we need to use store bought water. This water is bought in a big blue 19 litre bottle (you can swap when empty for 1 US dollar) which sits in the laundry for us to use as we need. It has a hand pump on top so if we all have bigger muscles when you see us next you’ll know why.
The one part of not drinking tap water that we are struggling with most is when we clean our teeth. We have a jug of store bought water that we use for this purpose, but our automatic reaction is to put the toothbrush under the tap before using it. It is so programmed into us, that it is hard to change our behaviour in this area. So Sam made this sign to remind himself not to use the tap. Underneath are the Tetun words, as way of helping us learn a little more vocabulary