Friday, September 26, 2008

Latrines and Chicken Coops


Today after lunch we all got together to build a chicken coop, that’s right- a chicken coop. It was probably about what one would expect, well maybe a little worse since we do things DR style here. When we arrived where we would be building the chicken coop, the men of the house had already built the “frame”. I think it looked pretty good considering it was made out of tree branches nailed together. We then took the wood planks that the technical trainer bought and cut them to size with the dullest saw I have ever used. Which, ok so I haven’t used many saws but if I had I still think this would rank high in the dullness factor. It was like cutting a piece of wood with a freaking piece of floss! (Ok, so you get the idea.) Needless to say, I cut about one full piece and decided my service could be better used elsewhere. So I moved on to other projects like nailing. I found that I’m just not that handy. Nailing didn’t go to bad for my hands at least but as for the nails… good thing they’re long and so it didn’t matter that I mangled the ends of a lot of them. All in all, after about 2 hours we had ourselves a chicken coop and I was lucky enough to come away with even more, I had chicken poop on my knee.
We were supposed to do this project yesterday but with the rains from who knows what storm now, it wasn’t a good idea. It was the first time it really rained while I’ve been at CBT and when it rains, it pours! Of course that made me think of the huge spiders that come into the house when it rains. Not cool. Luckily I haven’t had another encounter with one in my room although I have this reoccurring nightmare that one will get me in the bathroom.
Speaking of bathrooms, I forgot to mention that on my PCV visit I was lucky enough to experience my very first latrine. It could have been a lot worse since my PCV had a new one and it was all to herself. It never floods either, another bonus. So, no joke though, latrines are SICK. Even porter johns are better than these nasty things. Picture this, my PCV’s latrine was about 15 or 20 feet from her house (good thing she doesn’t have a well huh Mary Alice!?!) and it’s made of tin or zinc. I opened the tin door and looked inside (only after I really couldn’t hold it anymore) and there to greet me was the smell first of all and then the concrete block with the hole in the middle for which to give my unwanted digestive goodies. I discovered, after peeing on my pants the first time, that using the latrine is more of an art than anything. It’s hard to get positioned so everything goes just where it’s supposed to since you can’t sit on the concrete thing. I mean you could but it’s where everyone else stands or squats so it’d be bad for your butt. Also, the concrete thingy is super low which would be a pain to get up and off of and the concrete isn’t smooth or anything so it wouldn’t be nice for your butt either. I guess it’s just flat out not made for comfort/sitting. I think I would like to maybe figure out a way to get a higher one and buy a toilet seat!
For those of you who are more visual, picture squatting down balancing with your hands clasped straight out in front of you and doing your thing. That’s the latrine. Our PCV also had a “shower” in her latrine which means that there was a little hole near the base of the concrete butt thingy for water to go down when she stood in there and bucket bathed. I for one, will not be doing this. Unless I build up an amazing immunity to the stench of the latrine, baking all day in the sun in the zinc building, I will shower in my kitchen. I guess it’s not that uncommon for PCVs to just strip down in their kitchens or where ever and bucket bathe then sweep the water outside. I figure this could be a good double use for my water since I could mop with it afterwards!
My PCV’s latrine wasn’t all bad though. There was a palm tree fairly close to it and she had liquid soap!! Some things you don’t realize you miss until you have them again… She also had a soap dish (which was super nice to have!!! ) and a little thingy that hung off of the wood support and held her TP. Not a bad set up. Also, the position one needs to be in is not the best for reading but it’s a good leg workout an “atomically correct” for going number two, so it’s a helper! (Per Nurse Joe) Also, since the latrine belongs exclusively to the PCV, she keeps it really clean and sprays often so when I went at night I didn’t see any roaches or spiders. Although I did see a VERY large dead, deflated spider next to the TP in the morning. Anyways, this is another reason why you don’t want to sit on the hole to the abyss, things could very likely be crawling around and you don’t want them to crawl up to see what’s blocking out the sun. For this reason I have just decided against the toilet seat idea.
Well, I think one of my Dona’s cats just peed under my bed so I need to take a breather and get out of here. I’m sure I’ll have more to write later. Tomorrow we’re going to practice making DR food healthy style (an oxymoron if you ask me) with food from the colomado!! That’s right, PCVs can accomplish the impossible and they’re going to teach us newbies!!

Hasta luego,


PS Dad, I am still at CBT in Las Tablas. The post with the suitcases went with the date it had on it, the date I wrote it. So, I'm still here, I haven't moved again. I will be back in the capitol sometime the end of October and thats the next time I move. I'll be there for 2 weeks and then move to my permenant site, where ever that may be. I get mail like once a week if that. So, I recieved a package from Rach and Sar this week, THANKS GUYS!!! but I haven't gotten Aarons. I think it takes somewhere between 5 and 10 days for me to get a package from when it's sent, much longer for letters though. I did get one flashlight in my package from Rach, thank goodness! Its the kind you shake that doesn't need batteries. Hope that covered everything!!

1 comment:

i_should_b_asleep said...

Allright... it's been a few days and no one has posted to this one... so how about me?
I appreciated the "visual" explanation on the latrines. And from one writer to another-- "undigested goodies" has just been added to my vocabulary. :) It sounds like you're having fun there!

We are gearing up for a long post for you. It's taken some time because there are 7 of us-- but we're in the process of responding to your TOTALLY awesome email you sent. Gabe teared up when he read about your swimming advice (and in a good way). He stuck with it. And the kids are working on vocabulary lists for you of body parts and various animals-- in spanish. It's a good learning experience for them! (because we're working on Japanese!)

rach and I are talking about flying you to the keys the day after you've been there for a year... next August-- and meeting you there for a few days. That might not be the best idea because it's August-- the peak of hurricane season... I suggested flying you out for Thanksgiving day. :) And doing a dolphin tour-- I'd cover a dolphin cruise-- and a pet-the-dolphin diving experience in Marathon Key. :) I sure miss ya. I was looking through our Keys photos last night because I'm putting together 18 scrapbooks for people this Christmas.

We're planning our trip home right now for Thanksgiving... it's tedious. Trying to figure out where to be when... and how long.. and doing Christmas and Thanksgiving at once-- it's a lot. But hey, at least I don't have to plan it in Spanish!! You always keep me in perspective!!

I love ya.. I miss ya... and more packages are on their way. We haven't forgotten about you for a day since you left.