Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everyone Shits Their Pants

This is the the PC rendition of the childrens book Everybody Poops. It's true. Even my friend John who is a volunteer in Thailand can attest that this is supposedly apart of the Peace Corps experience. We call it joining the club. I am happy to report that I am not yet a member and I hope to never be, but we will see. I have yet to get food posioning or giardia, which is not uncommon for PCV, but that's not to say that in the next 26 months I won't. We like to ask random white people we meet on our travels around the country if they have joined the club or not. This is how we can tell the Peace Corps volunteers from other volunteers or vacationers. It's fun.

In other tmi news, I have a chamber pot in my room and it is awesome. My room is about 100 ft from the latrine and there is no way I want to use it in the middle of the night. You never know what you may find in there. I was at another volunteers site in the north and I had a giant cockroach crawl over my foot while was in the middle of squat. There was nothing I could do but scream. Terrifying stuff.

Put it on Your Head!

The stereotypical image of a woman carrying an obscenely large load of something on her head is commonplace in Ghana. I have seen women, children, and even sometimes a man carrying large buckets of water, loads of firewood, and boxes or bowls of whatever they are selling (usually food stuffs) on there head with incredible ease. I have even seen a woman carrying a propane tank and once I saw man carrying a cage of live chickens. I kid you not.

I tried to carry a bucket of water on my head the last, and only, time I went to fetch water. Taking a pair of my host brother's shorts that my host mom had given me, I rolled them and then coiled them atop my head to serve as a stable base for my bucket and a cushion for my head, as the locals do. My mom helped me place the bucket, which probably weighed 20 lbs, and after she got her own much larger bucket on her head we were on our way home. We live about a 10 minute walk from the bore hole. While my mom was able to walk seemingly comfortably without laying a finger on her bucket and could stop and great people, turning her head when needed, I kept a white knuckle grip on my bucket and took one cautious step at a time. At the end of the walk my neck, back, and shoulders were aching. It's no wonder why all the women here have such awesomely toned arms.

So the moral of the story is that I now use about half of the water that I previously used for my bucket baths. I am so much more aware about how much water I use on a daily basis and I am very thankful that my mother has fetched water for me ever since! Fingures crossed that when I get to my I will live directly in front of the bore hole. Though if not, I can always pay a small girl to get it for me (this is normal here...child labor is alive and well and I have no qualms about utilizing it if neccesary).