Limited water – Maximum freakout

Water Shortage Panama City

Carnival is a big four-day weekend/party in Panama and in a lot of Central and South America. But, in Panama, the biggest festivals occur outside the city. As the last long weekend before school starts again (it’s summer break here right now) many people take advantage of the long four day weekend and head out of town.

Oh darn, all these cars are leaving the city?

We decided to stay in town, hang out and enjoy crossing the streets without fear of getting hit.

There are no cars anywhere. I’m using this crosswalk ironically.

Saturday started off well enough. We got an email from our landlord, but it was in Spanish. Who wants to translate something that long on a Saturday?

And then I tried to wash dishes and no water came out of the faucet. It seemed like a good time to read that email.

Our first translation was that the water was being turned off during the above times. I was appalled, how could they do that? They were going to turn the water off for three, two hour periods a day? No water for 6 hours every day for three days?

And then, we put it through google translate. Turns out for three days the water would be turned off EXCEPT during the above time. Seemed like they were taking advantage of people being away from the city to fix the water system.

Obviously, there was only one thing to do….panic! And go out to lunch. The restaurant didn’t have any water either, but they did have wine and free bottled water.

Jeff: Calm down. This is fun.

How can I fit about 80 of these in my purse?

Next, we went out and bought three gallons of bottled water and a bucket. When the water went back on I filled up everything I could.

You can’t have enough random classes of water sitting around.
Jeff: You are overdoing it.
Sheryl: You will thank me when the water never goes back on, and you have to shower with the coffee pot!
In case we have to flush the toilet!

I understood in theory that this is still more water than much of the world had. In many places, there is no clean water, and/or no running water. I knew that…in theory. But it didn’t stop me from freaking out.

Sheryl: Day one of the water shortage – I’m so thirsty.
Jeff: Drink the water you put in the fridge or the bottled water.
Sheryl: No, I’m saving it.

On day 2 I started OK. There was water in the morning and some in the early afternoon, but, when it went off again, I started to freak out. Jeff knew there was only one thing to calm me down, a chance to take photos of doors.

look, pretty blue ones.

We headed out to Casco Viejo, a beautiful historic part of the city that dates back to the 1,600’s. The colonial architecture is amazing, there are cool restaurants and rooftop bars, and most importantly, lots of doors.

Let me just take thirty photos of each door.
oh look,, a purple one.
Here’s Jeff casually walking by for an Instagram photo.

We also looked around some ruins.

This was a convent in the 1600s.
Instagram version: We love historical things.
Reality: I think people have been peeing in here since the 1600s.
Just going to practice a little river dancing here.

Once the sun went down we realized we needed some water, and maybe a cocktail, so we headed over to a rooftop bar where we tried to look cool even though we were decades older than everyone else in the bar.

Look at how cool and unconcerned I am that THERE IS NO WATER IN THE ENTIRE CITY!

Then I decided to take a cool photo against this plant wall. These walls are all over Panama City. They look super cool and Instagrammable.

Turns out this one was fake plastic plants that were scratchy when you leaned against them.

When we got home the water was back on and stayed on for the rest of the week.

Ahhh, everything is back to normal. I’ve grown as a person and learned how to cope with inconveniences. I’ll never freak out again.

And then this morning we saw that the water will be shut off again at midnight and be out for possibly 48 hours.

Quick, fill up every container, go to the store, get more water, I’m going to need two buckets and a personal water tank. Start digging a well!

3 thoughts on “Limited water – Maximum freakout”

  1. Did you find out if this is happening at this time of year throughout the city? I applaud you for going through this – me, I would pack up and go home! Yeah I’m a wuss like that – lol

    1. It was thoughout the entire city. I think they took advantage of the fact that a lot of people were out of town to fix stuff. It seems to be all fixed now. and yes if the water had not gone back on during those few hours a day I would have probably completely lost it.

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