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Bathhouse

August 15, 2019 — Leave a comment

When I was teaching at a university in China, most of the dorms were located in the northwest section of the campus. The dorms were heavily populated, and to be honest with you, poorly illuminated in my opinion. At the end of each hall there were bathrooms with several sinks, mirrors, and toilets. There was one very important thing missing — would you like to know what it was?

The dormitories didn’t have any showers! To shower, the students would have to leave their dormitory and go to the nearby bathhouse. Check out the bathhouse in the photograph below!

Obviously this building has more than one floor, and that is good for separating the males and females. I believe the boys are on the first floor and the girls were on the second floor. Another interesting thing about the housing involves the teachers. If you were a single teacher, you were given a room in the dormitory. On the other hand, if the teacher was married, they were given an apartment. For the single teachers in the dormitory, they didn’t like going to the bathhouse with their students.

Many of the students had plastic basin that they would take to the bathroom to fill with water and then bring to their dorm room and wash up a little before they went to bed. By the way, the photo below is from one of the student’s room that had 13 people living in it! Did I mention earlier the dorms were heavily populated? This particular room was on the end of the building and larger than the other rooms. 

While teaching at this university, I was always impressed by how clean the students were and their clothes. You guessed it: they didn’t have a place to wash their clothes on their hall either!

Have you ever looked at something and wondered what happened — and how often it had to happen before someone took steps to correct the situation? Well, that is what struck me when I saw this sign during my last trip. I must caution you, we may have different senses of humor, so what I find funny may be repulsive to you. Are you ready to see what I am talking about?

What Happened - and How Often? |

Sometimes words are not needed to express your thoughts; just the look on your face says it all. Hopefully it was the Information Booth that suggested this sign and not the janitorial staff.

Since we have drifted into a bathroom theme with this blog, I have yet another photo for you. Again, this was from my last trip, and I had never seen this before. The door was left open for the family bathroom, so I couldn’t resist taking this picture. I actually thought it was cute and didn’t involve an immature sense of humor. Do you agree this is a good idea and adorable?

What Happened - and How Often? |

This was without a doubt the smallest toilet I had ever seen! It looked even smaller beside a traditional sized toilet, so again, I had to take a photo of it.

I frequently say you never know what you might see when traveling, and I think this blog has proven me to be correct. Enjoy your next trip!

This will be the final blog about the bathroom remodel Global Partners in Life did for the special needs orphanage in China. In this blog, I will point out all of the hard work, and some of the dirty work, that occurs before the wonderful final product is finished.

The workers kept a workman busy mixing the solution used to hold the new tile in place. The container held a large amount, but when the tile started being applied it went fast, so the guy mixing had to keep up with the other workers.

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One day when I was there, a dump truck delivered sand, bricks, and bags of concrete. Unfortunately for me, the bags of concrete couldn’t be left in the pile of sand, because the sand was wet. If the bags of concrete remained on the wet sand, the moisture would have gotten into the bags of concrete and then the workers wouldn’t be able to use the hardened concrete. So, I had to remove the bags from the pile of wet sand and bricks. Even more unfortunately for me, the bags are larger than the bags we have here for home improvement projects, so they were very heavy!

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Since this remodel was supported by Global Partners in Life, I feel it was appropriate for me to have some sweat equity in the project. When I saw the completed project, it was well worth everything. Hopefully this new bathroom will serve all of the people at the special needs orphanage well for many years. The only way Global Partners in Life is able to assist the special needs orphanage is through the generous contributions of people like you! Thank you.

See the other blog posts about this remodel project:

 

For someone with no handyman skills (that would be me), it is very impressive to see how someone with training and experience can bring a project together and make everything work. That was certainly the case as Global Partners in Life remodeled the bathroom for the special needs orphanage. Once the bathroom had everything removed, there was so much work to do and a plan needed to be in place.

With new sinks, washer, shower/tub, and toilet to be placed, many water lines had to be run for everything. Here is what the demo and the placement of the waterlines looked like. Yes, they needed drain lines as well.

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The hot water heater for the apartment was in the cabinet in the kitchen. This cabinet should have been a food pantry. It contained a large, old, and inefficient hot water heater, so one of the updates we provided was to install a new, energy efficient, and large hot water heater in the bathroom.image006

This is one of the nicest and largest hot water heaters I had ever seen mounted on a bathroom wall in China. It was about three times the size of the one I had in my apartment. This unit was so much better than the old one in the kitchen that the pipes were changed around so this new hot water heater could send hot water to the kitchen! The exterior wall of this bathroom faces north, so it is wonderful to have lots of hot water in the winter. This new bathroom has truly made every day better for the children and workers at the special needs orphanage. Global Partners in Life was very thankful for the many contributions received so they could assist these loving children!

If you have read the book Unseen Tears, published by Global Partners in Life (GPiL,) you would know about the needs of the children at the special needs orphanage supported by GPiL. In my last blog, I wrote about the remodeling job GPiL did with the bathroom sinks, and today I want to tell you about the shower.

As you can see in the picture below, there is no shower. To bathe the children, a plastic kiddie pool was used and water was heated in the kitchen. It was then brought through the apartment and used to fill the pool. Then the children would be lined up and one after another they would be given their baths.image002

What you can see in this picture is a very old clothes washer and some unused space in the corner. Actually, that corner was enclosing some large water pipes, and you can see the old tile on the walls.

When we decided to remodel the bathroom, it was stripped down to the bare walls, as you can see in this picture. You are now looking at the same area where the old washer was.

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We knew we wanted to make better use of the space and provide some enhancements, so we decided to add a shower. As you recognize in the next picture, the plumbing started to come into place where the old area was for the pipes.

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The final product was a tremendous improvement. We have new tile on the walls and floor, along with a new clothes washer. Additionally, there is a shower and bathtub where there once was nothing!

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Above the shower we installed a new ceiling with heat lamps, which has led to a problem. The boys like to turn the shower on and run through it like an outside garden hose on a summer day. The leader of the orphanage doesn’t really like it when the boys do that!

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The ceiling of the new shower.

Through generous contributions, Global Partners in Life was able to make the daily lives so much better for everyone at the special needs orphanage!