So, let me tell you about life without a bathroom.
To get to the latrine, I must pass through the barnyard, which is coated in cattle excrement.
The view is nice.
But here’s the ‘toilet’.
I guess this is the moment to share with you that Peace Corps musical hit, “You’re gonna poop in a hole”. Have a listen. Please. It’s all true.
We have running cold water, but there is no bathroom. I participate in that great Peace Corps tradition, the bucket bath. I bathe in my bedroom. Here is my bath:
I heat up some water, so it’s a bit more comfortable, given that the temperature in my room is usually about 55 degrees. I can wash my hair and all the "parts that fold" with one Nalgene (liter) of water or less. I have discovered that baby washcloths are readily available; they do the job, are gentle on the skin, and dry quickly. I also highly recommend this type of clothespin rack for hanging towels and washcloths to dry in your room. Also excellent for drying socks and underwear without taking up a lot of space on the clothesline, and can be moved inside quickly when the rain and hail start. These handy things are available in the market at the same stall where you purchase your chamberpot.
Also, while we’re mentioning daily realities, there’s the mud. My road becomes brown slurry when it rains, and right now it rains a lot. Fortunately, I have ditch boots and (so far) they don’t leak. Here’s the street outside my house after a rain. Also, notice the local trash disposal system at work.
It's not that I'm complaining. As you could tell from the song "You're gonna poop in a hole", this is how it's supposed to be in the Peace Corps. If all the amenities existed, they wouldn't need us and I wouldn't get to have this amazing experience, living in Peru. And how could we understand the daily realities of the people we're serving if we didn't share those realities on a daily basis?
Actually, my house has some facilities that might make volunteers in, say, Africa, sneer and label my site "Posh Corps". We have a washing machine!!!
And for my host moms birthday, my host sister gave her a microwave!!!
So, for any of you who are jealous of my adventure, just remember, it’s not all this.
It’s also this: