Wednesday, November 14, 2012


So, we love our Regional House. It's where we come to get our mail, check our e-mail, get our protein fixes, stock up on vegetables, take a break, or catch a car up to Dakar. It's also where we have a fancy marble-inlaid latrine (or douche,* as they're somewhat inaccurately called here) can take a stand up (outdoor, unheated) shower, which is really nice. Or, it was, until the walls of our shower/latrine area started to crack. And then crumble.
The out-of-order latrine at our Regional House
And then, over night, a hole opened up in the floor of the latrine area. The photo on the left another PCV took last week; the other one I took today. We had no idea that the people who built it just dug an enormous pit, covered it with a thin slab of concrete without any sort of supporting structures, and called it a day. Luckily the floor came apart slowly, no one got caught by surprise, and we're already starting the process of having it pumped, re-built (more practically, this time) and will hopefully be able to salvage some of that nice marble from the floor.

All this has really impressed upon me the importance of a good, sturdy latrine cap, and I'll be keeping that in mind as my own latrine project rolls out. No one wants to go douche-spelunking. 

* "Douche" means "shower" in French, but people use it to mean "toilet," kind of like how Americans call toilets "bathrooms."

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