Monday, August 6, 2012

If you don't like talking about bowel movements, don't read this post.

Warning! Alert!
Warning! Alert!
There is no tp remaining!
Bring your own supplies!

One of the more rewarding parts of this experience is the comraderie felt in the group. We have all found comfort in hanging out and doing activities together, and being in a group has partially shielded us from the homesickness and lonliness that I imagine many are feeling. I try to leave any such feelings out of my blog posts, because that's not what I want this to be about, but to be honest, it is hard to leave home for 3 months and study a different language, especially when one month is overseas. It's also exhilirating and fascinating and eye-opening, but it's definitely not easy.

Anyway, because we're all here and experiencing similar things, we tend to talk about everything that's going on with us. We talk about our host families, our interactions in the street, our workload, and good places to eat and work. Of course, one of the things we discuss most regularly is - you guessed it - poop.

Here's the thing: back home, there's no reason to talk about poop, because there aren't weird changes going on all the time. However, we're all just about now getting used to the food here, and getting back on relatively regular poop schedules. (I'll explain more in a minute.) Not only did most of us have to get used to the hole-in-the-ground system, but nearly everyone has had some sort of poop change or story since we arrived. It will probably be easiest if I write a guide-like list regarding the bowel movement situation here.
  • Within the first couple days, you will probably have a solid poop. It will feel GREAT. This is because you haven't pooped in two days out of fear. This may never happen again while you are here.
  • Along those lines, once you get over the fear of the squat method, you will find it is very easy to poop and handle the wipe business. Theories abound as to why this is.
  • Someone in the group will discover is it easier to aim with the flat-foot method than the ball-of-the-foot method, and will gleefully share with everyone. Be that person.
  • At least once, you will think there is toilet paper, when there is not. Just hope you have a waterhose in the stall when you do.
  • At least once, you will think you brought toilet paper, when you did not. See above.
  • Somewhere around the end of the first week, everyone has the runs. Anyone who says otherwise has eaten an entire package of immodium and should be taken to the hospital immediately.
  • Around the middle/end of week two, if you're lucky, you will get back to 90% solid. Take this as a sign that the angels have blessed you and be merry.
And finally,
  • No matter how many times you have pooped in a day, you can always do one more. Always.

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