Be thankful for easier options Be thankful always . . .

Fadzayi Maposah-Correspondent

There was a time when we used to go to the communal borehole in our rural area in Sanyati.

 The borehole was about a kilometre from our homestead. Some days when there was laundry to be done, my mother MaNcube would encourage each one of us to carry something so that she did not have to carry lots of things while we just joined in the activity for fun. 

So as long as one could walk, they would carry something. 

She could even give someone a bar of soap. One had to participate actively. Besides all of us going to the borehole, it would ensure that she could babysit all of us at once without wondering what we were up to while she was at the borehole! Great multi-tasking I tell you. 

So we would walk to the borehole in a single file. Come to think of it, we always used to organise ourselves according to age. MaNcube or any adult she had designated to be in charge would mark the end of the great trek to the borehole.

Besides that, MaNcube wanted all of us to be at the borehole, it was an opportunity when we were there to see others who had come for the holiday or who stayed there.

It was recreation while we worked, we would listen to the Radio Zimbabwe programme “Nziyo tichishanda” ( Music as we work) the only difference was the only music we would have would be the voices in chatter and laughter with occasional cries after some got a beating for mischief! 

The community now kumusha have put up laundry sinks at the borehole. During my childhood years there were no sinks. We washed from the metal dishes and metal buckets. This was before the plastic ware revolution. The metal dishes were heavy too….

So on laundry day, the laundry would be washed and put on the trees around the borehole to dry. When this was done, water would be fetched and people would bath in the shrubs as the only cover. Then we would walk back home, laundry done some carrying buckets with water for use back at home. On some days one would push a wheelbarrow with a big dish inside, laundry that would be hung on the clothes lines back home.

From what I am saying people can assume that the borehole experience was an easy one. From what I have shared the distance was not long. What I have not shared is that the terrain to and from the borehole was and still remains a good exercise area. When it rains, some parts of the path to the borehole were slippery. I lost count how many times I fell along that route.

It was painful falling when I was on that route but the pain was more pronounced if I fell when I was returning from the borehole and the water from the bucket added to the already slippery mud! 

When one gets to this slippery portion of the path, one can see the homestead. One is literally home. This taught me that it is not over till it is over. Words like almost there ring true in this regard.

Many a metal bucket fell along this route and had dents, small and big to show that on some days, it had not been an easy walk home….

With time WaMambo my father had a protected well dug at the homestead and there was no need to go to the borehole. Some families had wells at their homesteads before us, others had wells after us. This meant that the number of people who went to the well declined.

Occasionally some would claim to miss borehole water, pick up a bucket and head for the borehole. I do not think they missed the water, with wells in the yard, life was confined to the fenced area…..

Recently a community project that I am part of needed water for some work that the builder had to do.

I was shocked to hear that females in the project said that every woman should fetch at least three 20l buckets of water and empty it into containers that they had reserved at the project site. 

Where the water was to be obtained is some distance from the project site and when returning with the water, the road is not slippery like the one in Sanyati but one goes uphill. Imagine going up and downhill six times, three times with a full 20-litre bucket? No easy feat! Some people prefer to have it the difficult way. The project members could have put resources together and sourced a water bowser from the local authority at a fee, an easier option than the six trips per female member.

Someone hinted that I should consider hormone replacement after I shared how I was being affected by pre menopause and its varied symptoms. 

I am sure that I shared that I was considering it. I was very hesitant initially. I wanted things just to be as normal as possible. Very natural. I have been taking a tablet a day as prescribed. I have realised that I am a lot calmer now. 

It is still early days. I can feel the difference though. I am still getting used to the routine of taking a pill daily. There are days that I almost forget to take the pill and I am so thankful when I remember. I actually give myself a pat. I am my own cheerleader, cheering myself to the finish line.

Natural as it may be I do not think that one should have a bumpy menopausal ride if there are easier options for a better ride. 

Hormone replacement is an option that women can explore. Let us embrace options that make our lives better. 

Let us not continue to go to the borehole when we can have water within the confines of the homestead without the risk of slipping and losing the water.

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