The curse of the water bag

As everyone knows who visits Ghana and for those of you who don’t, fresh drinking water is largely sold in 500ml sealed plastic bags.  These are incredibly handy but equally they must be terrible for the environment. Sadly you see empty bags all over the place, but that is another story.

They take some practice to use.  They are usually opened by biting a piece from the corner and drinking directly from the bag.  The first time you try this it can result in getting very wet as the pressure with which you hold the bag is paramount to a successful opening.  Bite the corner holding too tightly and a spurt of water covers your face, clothes, belongings etc.  I’m not sure my father ever got used to it as he used to suffer from an almost daily soaking.  Amusing to the watcher but very frustrating for the user!  We also had a friend here who’s overbite meant that he couldn’t actually bite into them and so had to cut them instead which is even more tricky.

What prompted me to write about the humble water bag is that whilst making up some powdered milk for breakfast yesterday (powdered milk is the norm here), I was squeezing the bag hard to produce a strong stream of water when it popped, covering me, the counter, the boxes of cereal etc. in water, milk and powder.  A little frustrating but at least it can dry quickly here.  What I wouldn’t do to be able to just go to the tap and use that to drink from or mix with my milk powder!

Whilst on the subject, water bags are as useful as they are annoying especially in the hands of small people.  They get left all over the house, tip over and soak everything.  It’s amazing how far 500ml of water can spread or how much it can soak; puzzles, newly ironed clothes, books, dvd’s, computer keyboards, beds, floors, shoes, toys etc.

They do make great water bombs though and depending on the make you buy some bags are much weaker than others.  They are also great for squirting at the cats when they decide to fight late at night.  Freezing them is handy as you can make ice bags to go into your cool bag, but what you don’t always count on is that freezing them stretches the plastic which can create holes which the water then runs out of when they melt, rendering most things in your cool bag ruined!

It seems anyone can produce water in bags.  A hut went up within the last year across the road purifying water.  I’ve been told they just use the mains water and put it though eight filters!  It’s been ok for us so far!  Some people do avoid them but we haven’t had any problem, apart from with opening them!

The worse things about water bags?  They can run out!  So every time you turn on your tap at home for a drink of water count your blessings as you really are very very lucky.

And finally:

Yesterday we were mostly making junk robots, naked……..

Ochina! x


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