Given the seriousness of the events that took place in Washington DC on January 6th of last week, I was thinking that you might want something to laugh about. In my last post I spoke about my first trip to Kenya, Africa in June of 2017 . Following is another of my journal entries from that trip. It’s a little long but I know you will enjoy it.

Tea And Biscuits

Today we spent our second day at one of Kenya’s military bases. I was there to provide training for Technical Order Library personnel. After about a hour and a half of training we took a break. There was a conversation with the class as we began to get a better understanding of how their local process works. Our 10 minute break turned into over 30 minutes but we learned a lot. Our plan was to do two more briefings then break for lunch. Plans changed after one briefing because the Airmen wanted to stop and have their 10:00 tea.

In Kenya it is custom to have tea and biscuits at 10:00 am and again at 4:00 pm. It was about 11:00 am and we were already an hour past their customary time so they were very instant. One of the Airmen escorted us over to an area right outside one of the aircraft hangers where sure enough, there was a charming set up for tea. A white cloth covered table with little white teacups on saucers, and plates with the biscuits, teapots filled with tea and little bowls of raw sugar. A very polite staff of military women, served us. The Kenyans drink their tea with what taste to me like carnation milk.

The affair lasted maybe 20 or 30 minutes. Several of the Airmen and military officers stood around chatting while drinking tea and eating delicious biscuits. They are not biscuits like we eat for breakfast, more like thick sweet cookies. Rhonda and I decided we would take this delightful ritual back home to our office. We finished our tea and headed back to the building where the classroom was.

A Cultural Shock

On the way back to the classroom Rhonda and I had to go to the bathroom. We were taken to a building that was the ladies “toilet”. Rhonda went in first while I waited outside. When she came out she told me that I would have to squat. I walked through the door and looked to my left and saw a sight that I had NEVER seen before. There was no toilet but a contraption on the floor that consisted of a 24X12 inch concrete dugout with a hole, and a hand held shower type gadget. Appalled, and a bit confused, I looked back out the door at Rhonda and asked, “What am I supposed to do with this”? She smiled, with laughter in her eyes and said, “You have to squat.” I wanted to cry!!!! Instead, I handed Rhonda my backpack and purse then walked back into this stinky house of horror to try and figure this out.

I didn’t stop to take a picture, but this image from the internet is what a squat toilet looks like.

That day I was wearing a really cute maxi length skirt. I pulled up my skirt and stood over the pee troth all while thinking through the situation. Although I had to go #2 as well, there was no way I was going to do that!!! I decided to hold onto that until later. Now I was in a dilemma as to how to manage my panties. If I pull them down and squat then they would probably get wet so, I stepped away from the troth, took the panties off and held them under my chin. Next I went back to the troth, pulled up my skirt and squatted.

Something that I never realized was that lady pee shoots forward. I got a bit of a lesson on the female anatomy when my first stream went out of the designated space and onto the floor. I quickly realized that I wasn’t positioned far enough back on the troth so after making the necessary adjustments I was able to control the force of the flow and prevent any further moisture to my shoe. Finally, I was grateful to find that this dreadful place at least had toilet paper. After managing to put my panties back on and adjust my skirt (as if things hadn’t been bad enough) I discovered that there was no water or soap to wash my hands.

After experiencing the most disgusting and horrible experience of my entire life, I walked out of the stinky pit to see Rhonda laughing. Once she managed to compose herself, she said, “Welcome to the world of FMS (Foreign Military Sales)”.

Lessons Learned

How in the hell do these poor women deal with this on a regular basis? Why don’t women demand that they be provided with better bathroom facilities? I’m told that it is like this in many African and Asian countries. I guess they are used to it, and apparently they don’t mind.

On this otherwise amazing trip to Kenya I have learned some things. No matter how difficult life can sometimes be, we in America are so tremendously blessed. We take so much for granted like something as simple as being able to sit on a toilet to pee. I am so grateful for the opportunity to come here. I have been in awe the entire time. In spite of the bathrooms, I look forward to coming back. On future trips I will be sure to always carry toilet paper and hand sanitizer. If by chance I should ever be forced to use a stinky pit of horror again, face the back and not the front.

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