Change Yourself…Change The World.

Cry Me A River- The Day My House Flooded.
May 27, 2013, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

Welcome to the last story of this week’s blog theme, “Things That Have Gone Horribly Wrong,” where I feature ridiculous situations from my Peace Corps Service. Today, I’ll be sharing a recent incident: the day that my house flooded.

There comes a point of your service where you start to think that the worst is behind you. After you’ve been in-country for two years,  you think you now know it all- the language, the customs, that carne asado restaurant to avoid explosive diarrhea– and you get lulled into a false sense of security. You start thinking insane things like “I”ll never feel as frustrated as I did during __________ time period!” “I’ll never be as lonely as I felt during the month of ________!” “I’ll never ride again in the backseat of a tiny car with 5 people sitting on top of me, while a stranger changes her baby’s diaper on my lap!”

I encourage you not to think those things, because you are just setting yourself up for failure.

I happened to be thinking along these lines the exact morning that my house flooded. I already had a bad start to my day- waking up to my bed soaked in cat pee. It was pouring outside, so I couldn’t wash any of my bedding, and it was cold, but I couldn’t stay in bed.  Then my charger to my computer died, when I was at 3% battery. So, I was stuck in my house (which is like prison when it pours outside in Paraguay- you just can’t leave, and neither does anyone else), and I was couldn’t lay in my bed or watch movies on my computer- which are basically my two favorite things to do when it’s pouring outside. I was not a happy camper.

This bad day was on top of a string of frustrating things that had happened that week, so I was getting to the point where something small could just push me over the edge. (remember when I wrote a post on The 4 Stages to Having a Complete Meltdown? I was on Stage 3). This happened while I was sitting on my sofa chair with my kitten, reading a book. I happened to glance down to see my bedroom covered in half a foot of water.

My house happens to be on very low land in Caazapá, and it has a crazy mold problem because the rain leeches into the foundation of the house. I also can’t flush my toilet when it rains, since the water comes up through the shower drain. When it rains non-stop for a few days, my entire backyard starts to look like a lake. And since my backyard is on a higher plain than my front yard, it decided to become a river- a river coursing from one end of my house to the other.

As I jumped up from my chair, water gushed in from my back door, filling into all four rooms of my house, and flowing out through the front door. I had shoes, clothes, electrical plugs, and plenty of non-water proof items on my bedroom floor that were all now completely soaked. I cursed repeatedly while throwing these onto any surface spare surface I could find.  I watched full-grown tarantulas swim by me into my house, and I tried valiantly to bail them back out with a bucket. Clumsily, I dropped my iPod nano into the water, and it submerged completely. Then something in me totally snapped: I had just hit Stage 4, and it was time for a Meltdown.

After a hysterical phone call to a fellow Volunteer while the water swirled around my house (I kept yelling “WHY WON’T IT STOP RAINING?!?!”), I sacrificed quite a few Peace Corps camp T-shirts to plug up the back door of my house, which effectively stopped the river. The worst was over. I surveyed my house, which now resembled something of a swamp. And suddenly, I started to giggle. And that giggle turned into a laugh. And that laugh turned into raucous, deranged laughter that lasted for a good 5 minutes. I couldn’t stop.

My house was underwater. I had officially gone crazy. And in that moment, life had never felt so strangely normal. It was just another ridiculous day in Paraguay.

My house, after I got most of the water out with a squigee and bucket.


Want to read more ridiculous stories? Check out Inappropriate Things I’ve Said In Paraguay, The Coldest Night of my Life, and The Bus Ride from Hell.

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