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Bucket Showers

In the "Cult of Escapism": Bucket Showers

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bucket Showers

There’s a technique to showering with a bucket. The “Tip and Dump” is a classic technique employed by rookie Bucketeers and involves, contrary to what the name suggests, holding the bucket of water over one’s head and Tipping it so that it Dumps water. This is the boxing equivalent of a “Haymaker” in that it is also surrounded by quotation marks and is used to prepare food for your cows. Wait. It is actually like a Haymaker in that it is a wild but powerful punch that rarely succeeds and often backfires into one getting punched in the ribs. Wait. Ok, so maybe it’s nothing like a Haymaker but if you simply Tip and Dump, especially without quotation marks, you might miss important and dirty Body Parts.

A “Steady Stream” is a better pour and can feel, if you close your eyes and take psychoactive drugs, just like a regular shower. It also gives you the chance to Rub Yourself with your free hand, which should ideally contain soap. If soap is unavailable, you will Smell, an unpopular activity in Panama.
The Steady Stream should be applied in phases: first on head, then on torso, then on Chicken Pecking your Feet While you Shower, then on legs. This “phasing” will get you “wet,” which is a good first step that should be followed by…

Soap! As mentioned above, this is a Recommended Element of the showering process in that it makes you smell good and deters insects. Just kidding! You’re in the Peace Corps, nothing deters insects! But smelling good will help your Professional Image, something you carefully cultivate throughout your service, without realizing that you already ruined it your first three months in site when you grew that Big Disgusting Beard.

Once you smell good, it’s time to shampoo. Here a Slow Steady Stream is crucial because shampoo suds are Hard to Get Out. You may want to ask the Child That’s Been Following You for Weeks to help get the suds out. It won’t be weird, really.

Now that your hair and body are Soft and Fragrant, it’s time to dry off. Ideally, everything up to this point should take less than one minute, because bucket showers are, by definition, Uncomfortably Cold. To alleviate the cold shock, I recommend Peeing in the bucket first.

If you’re not a river bather (the other, colder alternative), bucket showers will become part of your everyday life here in Peace Corps Panama. You will remove your clothes, wish you hadn’t because it’s cold, pour water on yourself, wish you hadn’t because that’s even colder, and repeat this process until you are whimpering like a five year old that skinned his knee. If you are Smart, you have no doubt Queried (you don’t ask, you query, because you’re Smart) yourself, “why would it be cold in Panama, a country so close to the equator?” You will generally bucket bathe early in the morning or in the evening when there is no “””Sun.””” Therefore it is cold. Now stop asking silly questions so I can keep complaining.

If you bucket shower while living with host families, or share a shower with other families once you live alone, you will probably wear a bathing suit, which makes it difficult to clean your Nether Regions (the area between Poland and Denmark).

The result of this Relaxing and Cleansing shower process is that when you go to the city every few weeks, you will shower at least four times per day for approximately four hours per shower. You will also poop a lot. But that’s a different story altogether. 


At February 19, 2011 at 6:13 AM , Blogger Aunt Martha Mary said...

What do you do the other 8 hours in the city? Sleep? Shop? Go to 4 movies?

At December 7, 2012 at 6:34 AM , Blogger bama said...

Bucket showers. I used the technique alot in backpacking situations. The is IS VERY COLD in the Great Smokey Mountains, but it is so good to wash off some of the stickiness before trying to sleep. I am not pretending in anyway to compete with your dedication to two plus years of this practice.


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