Life On A Water Schedule

A good day starts with the sound of running water filling my toilet tank. The sputtering faucet as the rushing water pushes out all the air sitting in the pipes can be quite startling at first, but as you come to realize that the sound of water reclaiming control over the plumbing means that you will have water that morning, it becomes almost soothing.

In Vau Dejes, they turn the water on for us three times a day during meal times. Normally, it will stay on for two to three hours but that varies along with water pressure. Living on a water schedule here is hardly a problem. I have a bucket of water in my bathroom to flush the toilet throughout the day. Under my sink I keep three two liter bottles filled with water to wash dishes and cook. In the bathroom, I keep a shower water bottle with holes poked in the cap so I can shower after Judo if there isn’t water. And to top it all off I have a 4 gallon water filter that serves as a general reservoir for my apt. Most of the time I don’t even have to tap my reserves because I have water when I want it.

The reason we are on a water schedule is lack of infrastructure and inability to meet demand. The water supply network in Vau Dejes was built in 1967 and reconstructed in 2000. The water system only supplies water to the city of Vau Dejes while the rest of the municipality relies on private wells. There is also uncertainty as to the quality of water. It is my understanding that there might be a lot of minerals in the water and there is also a question of contamination from sewage water.

Keshtu eshte jeta ne Vau Dejes! It really isn’t that bad and now that I have adapted to living on a water schedule I hardly feel inconvenienced by it. There are other parts of the world if far less access to usable water than what we have in Albania. For more information on the world’s water supply check out


2 responses to “Life On A Water Schedule

  • Shaun Johnson

    What exactly do you do as a Community & Organizational Development volunteer? I think you mentioned you work for a city? What do you do? Did you have a background in city planning or municipal development? I only ask because I’ve been looking at the PC lately.
    How was the language training? Was all the volunteers able to complete the Albanian training?
    Do you have to give speeches or presentations?

    • Corey

      Community Development volunteers in Albania work mostly with the city governments and a few work with NGOs. There isn’t really a set job description and most of your job is what you make of it. Many volunteers work on developing projects or assisting with projects that the Bashkia wants to do. This usually involves grant writing. Volunteers may also give lessons on IT topics. All volunteers do a variety of different projects.

      Personally, I have only been in site for two months and the summer is the hardest time to work because everyone takes long vacations all summer. I help with simple computer questions or problems at work but my main project right now is to help the municipality develop a website. We are also working on developing a mid-term budget and review of the Strategic Plan with a Swiss organization called CO-Plan. Outside of the Bashkia, I have started to help a friend build an online presence for his business. Beyond that I am waiting until September to start more projects because my language will be improved and everyone will return from vacation.

      Before PC I worked a record label and I have no experience in city planning or municipal development but it hasn’t been an issue.

      The language training is very comprehensive. During PST, we had class for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. The biggest challenge in learning the language is forcing yourself to continue to study and engage the language intentionally. Everyone was able to complete training but some people were required to have a language tutor because their language skills weren’t up to par.

      We had to give one presentation during PST on our Community project. All the other presentations were done by current volunteers.

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