Posted by: MamaPatricia | May 29, 2007

The Shower and the Toilet


The shower

When my husband came back from his first trip to Kisumu, I asked him about the bathroom facilities. He explained that they were a little different than what we are used to here in Michigan. The shower is a gravity shower. The water is stored up on the roof in a large tank that has to be filled by hand. The young men will fill up buckets of water from the bore-hole, or a well as we would call it here in the U.S., and carry it to the shower and climb up on the roof and fill tank. The water is warm for an afternoon shower since it has been heated by the sun, but the mornings are cold.

The toilet, or latrine as they call it, is a cement slab over a pit. It is very deep. We were told 30 feet deep. There is a small rectangle opening in the floor. That is it.

Well I worried about the whole thing way too much. When I got there, I found it just as my husband instructed. The shower was clean and the water was cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Mama asked if I wanted any hot water when I showered. I said no, I did not want any special treatment. She said that they all use hot water. So I said yes to the hot water. Every morning a 5 gallon bucket of hot water was brought to us and set outside of the shower. Mama made sure that the water was heated up for us.

I laughed. My poor husband had been using only cold water, because he did not want special treatment. You see when he goes to Africa he lives like an African, eats like an African and sleeps like an African so it only makes sense that he would use the facilities like an African!

The latrine did no have an odor as I would have expected. There were little lizards in them but I understand that that is a good thing. I remembered a conversation I had with Shirley Meyers from Texas . She grew us as a missionary kid and she told me not to worry about using the latrine. She was right, when you got to go, you got to go and gravity does the job nicely!


The Latrine


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