A Fiery Welcome in South America

22 04 2008

Posted by: Laura

While traveling through Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua we actually went three weeks without having a hot shower. Most of the hostels that do have hot water have a white plastic contraption on the shower head that electrically heats the water as it passes through. The drawback to this system is that the more water pressure you use, the less warm your shower is. Most of these heaters get the water luke warm at best. The larger problem is that you are using ELECTRICITY NEAR WATER. I was wary of this system at first, but when faced with the dilemma of a cold shower or electrically heated water, I took the second option.

We finally got a break from busses and flew from Panama City to Lima, Peru. Our first night in Lima, I was taking a shower in our hostel when the hot water machine sparked, then made a popping sound. I looked up to see flames. I couldn´t move for a second as I felt electric current running through my body. Yes, the damn thing actually electricuted me. With soap still in my hair, I grabbed a towel and ran out of the bathroom followed by a trail of black smoke. Chris was talking on the phone to his brother who heard “Uh, dude, I gotta go, the shower is on fire.” We weren´t sure what to do since we couldn´t pour water on it. I was ready to grab my bags and let the hostel go down in flames, but luckily, the fire went out on its own. We later got a text message from John Michael who said, “I´m pretty sure I gave Lucy a book for her birthday about not putting electricity near water.”

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One response

25 04 2008
mary minor

Oh, Laura, how frightening!
I am glad it was not worse!
Thanks for keeping us up on things.
grace for the journey, mary

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