Saturday, February 10, 2007

Never pass up a free toilet…

Our Geneina compound had neither a toilet nor a sink. Another NGO compound had 10 – sinks, that is. I have no idea how many toilets they have although I suspect it’s equally gratuitous. So, through some hard bargaining that went a little something like this:

Kelsey: ‘How many freakin’ sinks do you need?’

Paul: ‘It’s not us…it was IOM.’

Kelsey: ‘Well, why don’t you give us one.’

Paul: ‘What’s in it for us?’

Kelsey: ‘Alleviating your troubled conscience for over-consumption of scarce Darfur resources.’

Katie: ‘How about cake?’

Paul: ‘Ok.’

We got the sink that is now proudly installed under our thorn tree. No more crossing the compound to wash your hands in the water tank in the middle of the night. No more brushing your teeth from a spigot two feet off the ground. It’s made an immeasurable impact in our standard of living.

So, you can imagine my reaction when Paul called a week later to ask if we wanted a toilet. What could I say? A toilet! No more pit latrine! A real, live, porcelain toilet! I said some words of wisdom that I’d like to now pass on to you. Words to live by – jot them down, quote me if you’d like. I said, ‘Never pass up a free toilet.’


Mrs. said...

and now that you have a toilet, make sure to never pass up free TP!

congrats on the new amenities.

Mike said...

you're so spoiled...

Kristin said...

Having spent a short amount of time without them, I now consider toilets to be the height of civilization.

And don't give me that crap about squatting being healthier and more natural. The western-style toilet is the most important amenity ever.

kate said...

I've never understood how stuff doesn't, uh, splatter with a squat toilet. Nor how handicapped-type people are expected to use it.
Perhaps you can enlighten me on these matters next time I see you.