Top 10 List of Fears About Joining the Peace Corps (#9)

#9:  I poop 3 times per day on a regular basis.

This can’t be good. I enjoy a fiber-rich diet and consequently, an efficient elimination system. It seems I can’t sit on my toilet without imagining what this process will be like  in a 3rd-world country.

This has become particularly poignant over the past month since I have been experiencing toilet issues in my home – my suburban Washington DC home. After finally accepting that it wasn’t some vast right wing conspiracy, I mentioned the problem I’ve been having to a friend of mine whose father was a plumber. Through my explanation, he deduced that my flapper wasn’t working properly. I was able to use the toilet but when it came time to flush I had to pour pitchers of water into the tank before I could flush. I thought about how this annoyed me, having to fill pitchers of water in order to dispose of my waste. Then I thought about the Peace Corps. Chances are I will have to leave my dwelling in order to take care of business. I may have to walk (more than the 15 feet between my bed and my bathroom?) over to a hole dug in the ground for this purpose. Will I use toilet paper or fig leaves to wipe? I may have to walk home even before washing my hands.

Perhaps I’ll have an indoor toilet. It may be similar to the one I have now but will likely not be hooked up to indoor plumbing. I may have to empty the waste myself…

I have since taken care of the flapper issue and each time I use the toilet, I do so with gratitude. I will also be implementing a fiber reduction program over the next several months.

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