Big Up from Aribinda

Friday, July 4, 2008

nasty, yet a little funny, business

This blog was written 4 July.

So I am going to give you a tale of utter frivolity. It is something that a lot, but not all, volunteers go through in Burkina Faso. I am not going to name most of the people who are guilty of the same ridiculousness. This so-called ridiculousness doesn’t involve any malfeasance, non whatsoever in fact. No, it involves people, in particular places at just the right time under certain physically stressors. You’ll get the gist of the subject fairly quickly, I am sure.

So, as most of you know, the food in Burkina Faso is so much different than the food here. When we first arrived over a year ago, many of us had difficulties with the food dealing with texture, how much oil and salt was in it, the lack of vegetables or the ever-present mystery meat that was floating in it, plus we were getting a different E. coli. The list goes on. Lots of us, most of us I can attest, had one if not many problems with our alimentary canals. I think you’re catching on. The latest saga just has me as the main character! ;-)

I tripped to a friend’s site to check it out. We are out of school, so I wanted to see where Clay lived. We spent a few days just hanging out, not doing much. Another volunteer came down to hang out with us. We’re having a good time, going on ville, relaxing, reading a lot. We go into town one day and eat some rice with peanut sauce. This plate as I remember was pretty sub-standard. I didn’t enjoy the street food at Clay’s site. We then toured the marché and grabbed a few things. We were walking along the road to grab something at a boutique when I started to feel the rumblings. I asked Clay and the other person if they had any lotus tissues, they said no. Then, they asked me the inevitable question: How you doing? I replied, Ca va venir! It’s going to come!

Clay suggested we take the quick, 5 minute shortcut back to his house. At this point I figured I could hold it. But, you never know. Given the situation, in this country, a volunteer never knows what to expect. Transport is especially daunting if you don’t know the condition of your ass, speaking figuratively. As we walked, I recalled a story that the other volunteer who was with us is famous for telling. She had a very hilarious thing happen to her during stage in her host family’s house. But, hey, that’s a different story. But, you now know everyone is susceptible.

As we neared the house, my situation went from an overheating code to near meltdown. We were roughly 80 yards from the house when Clay pointed it out to me through the trees. I started a rough jog, not going too fast because I was afraid of egging the turtlehead on. I became even more stressed about 30 feet from the latrine when I felt it coming. I couldn’t contain it anymore, it was on me! Clay’s neighbors new something was amiss because I was not greeting them. Instead, I was flustered, running/limping for the latrine. I get up to the latrine path and there were two goats lying right there in the shade. I stop and scream GET OUT!, the goats sprint out of the way, and I run into the latrine, knowing that I had missed the target by 30 feet! The damage was done! Shortly after, Clay and the other arrived. A few painfully humiliating moments later, I asked Clay to come here. He asked if I needed a new pair of boxers. I said yes, and could you bring me a half-drawn bucket of water? Thanks man, I need to bathe!

Yeah, the other volunteer’s story about pooping in a bag in her room due to someone occupying the bathroom in her house because she couldn’t hold it. Diarrhea just exacerbates the situation. Another volunteer crapped his pants while teaching. A volunteer shitting herself on transport, probably about 30 minutes from Ouaga. One of my buddies shitting the bed while his wife and he were asleep in it and the further madness of that story! Stories of people puking and shitting their pants at the same time. This place will make you lose it, I mean it, yes! One story another married couple told me about. He shit his pants in village, so she asked him WTF?!, you a baby or what? Then, two days later, she soils herself! Oh, man, that shit stinks! I am a 30 year old man, and I just recently pooped my pants. Wow. And, oh yeah, chickens shit on my bike last night. I’m always getting my nose rubbed in it here.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Thanks for the 'keeping it real' post, Mac. I think this makes my understanding of volunteering plus awesome. While teaching? Holy shit! What did he do?