Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bats in the Latrine, May 5

Last night when I went to the choo, I made a big mistake wearing a head lamp.

I was about to squat, when a BAT flew up and out and back down the hole.

Needless to say, I was a little scared.

I know we are supposed to use the squatty side for #1, but I couldn't get my head around
getting down low to the hole and being in the middle of my business and having a bat come up and flap its wings against me.

So…I used the "seat side." It's intended to help people when they go #2, but we know that when we do the homestay with a Zambian family, we won't have the luxury of a seat.

Here's a sneak peak at the latrine of the family we stayed with.

See? No seat.

The story continued the next day.

I went to the choo, intending to use the seat for #2, but when I opened the lid…BAT! Seeing the light, it fled south, but again…crisis of faith.

I'm pretty sure today was the first day I've ever sat on a toilet seat and prayed to the good Lord to not let anything fly out of it.

I could only imagine that by my sitting on it, the darkness would returnand the bat would feel comfortable returning.

Alas, my prayers were answered.

I'm sorry if this is too much information for you, but I wanted to make sure you got my FULL 40/40 experience.

I really am sorry I didn't get the picture of the bat either. There was one that held onto the wall all day long, every day, and "enjoyed" a spray of coolness, but never moved. Karis thought that was so cool.

I go to the choo A LOT (kids, remember?)!

For example, one evening I was going to get coffee, but Kylie needed to go for a long call. Ten minutes later, she finishes, we wash hands, she falls. On my way to help her get a band-aid, Doug calls across the field and said that Karis was coming to "go.".

I took Karis, and also made sure Caleb "went" by a tree. I finally made it back to the cooking tent, and the coffee was gone. Tea time was over.

So I decide to sit and visit with Doug and some other adults when Karis comes AGAIN to say she needs to go AGAIN. Afterwards, I return to our sleeping tent, deciding just to journal and be alone. I wrote one sentence and heard, "Mom, I need to go." It was Kylie. I knew I'd better check with Caleb again, too.

Caleb's way of dealing with culture shock, apparently, is to have bathroom accidents. I don't know if it's because the choos are so far away from things or if he just doesn't think about it in time, but I paid someone to wash clothes twice while we were at bush camp, and twice I went to the well to do the wash. I couldn't keep up because I had only brought 5 outfits for him, and he was having up to three accidents a day.

Compared to all that washing by hand, bats in the latrine aren't so bad.


The Spears Family said...

Those are some awesome/scary experiences. You are a good woman dealing with the bat thing in the squatty. I hope all the respective injured faces in your family continue to heal beautifully!

jen armstrong said...

okay, i'm just trying to picture this, kathryn. and i'm hearing the prayer for nothing to fly out in my head. oh dear. i wouldn't have made it!!

Kathryn Taylor said...

Again, have lived at the Sunny Porch Inn. You turned that place into the Grand Opry Hotel (before the flood, of course). You could do it, and probably better, too. I didn't mind the choo, but I was SO tired of going in there. The smell was enough for me on MY trips, but to go in there repeatedly and breathe in my sleeve while my kids went was almost too much.

Nancy said...

If I had a bat fly out of my toilet, I believe my biggest problem would become constipation due to bathroom avoidance!
Actually I too had a rat in the toilet one time in a rent house in South Carolina. I couldn't sit on the toilet in the dark until we moved.

Judi Kenney said...

Hi-I know this blog is over two years old but my daughter arrived in Burkina Faso, West Africa last month as a peace corp volunteer and was wondering if anyone could tell how to stop the bats from flying out of her latrine…any suggestions?? They're so bad she has such anxiety thats she afraid to use the latrine! Help!