It seems fitting that our arrival to the Peace Corps was composed of lost bags, smothering heat and the purchase of chamber pots.
Yes, chamber pots. While our hotel in defcto training center in Lome had running water, showers, toilets, etc (even air conditioning in some rooms!) We were prepared by staff and current volunteers that most host families would have latrines, nd they would likely be locked at night. Thus, the chamber pots.
We have since left Lome and are now at our training sites, a cluster of 3 villages in the Maritime region.
Between Philadelphia roommates, two transcontinental flights, many beers, Lome roommates nd finally separation into our sectors (English- EGE, Health- CHAP and Envirnoment- EAFS) We've had a lot of time to get to know one another.
One of the ways we've gotten to know one another which will surprise no RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) and will likely gross out most other people, is by talking about bathroom habits.
Between travel, stress, new food, filtered and bleached water and latrines, bathroom topics have become the main subject of conversations.
Of course we run mild to gory; from how many days it's been since we've shaved our legs, to who hasn't been able to get up off the toilet. Rumor has it that a previous “stage” group had shirts made that read “Every fart is a gamble.” Chewable Pepto Bismol has become out after dinner mint of choice.
The upside to all of this of cours is that I'm far closer with people I've met only two weeks ago than I ever imagined I could be. It's comforting to know that there are 36 other people going through the same things and that we are here to support one another.
I won't pretend I'm roughing it quite yet though. Tomorrow we are headed to the pool at a hotel in town.
What's my toilet situation? Well, I don't have running water, but I do have my own bathroom, with a real toilet (bucket flush) and shower area. Basically 4 star accommodations as far as I'm concerned.
I hope to move onto more family friendly topics next time, but then again- it's the Peace Corps.