Life in Kenya has offered me many unique experiences that I never ever (EVER) dreamed of having.  How to survive, and perhaps even enjoy, a pit latrine is the first I’d like to share.

  1. Be a man- literally, if you’re male this is pretty easy.
  2. If you can’t be a man wear a skirt- but be prepared to toss it over your shoulder cuz ain’t nothin’ good happening on the floor of a pit latrine.
  3. Don’t forget to pre-tear your toilet paper-
    1. You should never travel without your own toilet paper. If the pit latrine boasts its own toilet-paper-offering you’ve reached a height of luxury and generosity rarely found.  Mark this pit latrine on the map.  Plan trips around its location.
    2. Once you’ve “assumed the position” standing back up to retrieve toilet paper is a) annoying, and b) a potentially messy/disgusting accident waiting to happen.
  4. Jury’s still out on which direction to face.  Make a choice, pay attention, make adjustments, learn from mistakes.
  5. Squat…all the way down.
  6. If needed, find a place on the wall you feel least concerned about touching to stabilize yourself-falling over is NOT an option.
  7. Don’t breathe.
  8. Be appropriately and simultaneously amazed and confused by the directionality of your urine stream.  (Please, my biologist friends, don’t ruin this for me by explaining.)
  9. The alarm you feel when you see/hear/feel flies rising from the pit latrine in response to your new contribution is normal.  It won’t pass.  It will be there every time.
  10. Enjoy feeling the most empty bladder ever as you relieve yourself in the way God designed.   It’s also the best poop of your life, if you can figure it out.  But I’m a southern lady and I can’t talk about it yet.

If you were appalled by this post, maybe this photo of me majestically riding a camel will distract you from all the truth I just shared.