Water. Water is towards scarce here. At the very least, it is well respected. In Nairobi, we weren't to brush our teeth out of the spigot of the bathroom sink, and we were to drink only bottled water. But here at Kijabe station there is a spring, and we drink the water untreated. People are careful with the water here, not because there is something wrong with it, but because there is nothing wrong with it.
The story is that when Africa Inland Mission, one hundred years or so ago were looking for a place to build a school, they found land in the lower regions and were about to purchase it when a very powerful, English settler, Lord Delamere, blocked the purchase, and the mission had to look elsewhere. They found this beautiful place, with its own spring, something that the other property lacked.
Mary has a plastic bucket in her shower. It is there to catch some of the water, so it can be used in the toilet. She said that when there hasn't been much rain, she plugs the bathtub drain so that all the water from showering can accumulate. Then she ladles it out to a bucket for reuse. Out the wall from her kitchen, there is a pipe from the drain of the sink into a graywater tank, and that is used to water plants.
The water felt different hitting my skin when I showered; it seemed lighter. When I shaved, the razor ran easier and the skin felt smoother and less burned. Maybe the lack of chlorine and other additives makes the difference and perhaps the water is not so heavy with minerals as it is in S. Florida. It is very pleasant.
The water has a subtle, clean taste. It feels lighter as I drink it, as it feels on the skin when I shower. It is satisfying to drink too. I don't know whether the walking and extra exercise makes me more thirsty, but when I sit down to eat and drink the water, I notice how good it is to drink it. It is not a conscious perception of any sort of flavor (unless "clear and clean" is a flavor") but I can tell that my body is eager for it and will take all I want to give it. When I drink water at home, I reach a sort of limit fairly soon,