Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Monday, December 4, 2006

I want you to appreciate what you have

If you live in America there is one thing I can pretty much guarantee you take advantage of and don’t even really appreciate it for how awesome it is. You especially don’t appreciate that it is in side. The Toilet.Yes, The Porcelain God. See I have learned how awesome they are, especially since the cold snap that started a few weeks ago.I have also built up a tolerance. I can go very long periods of time without using the “toilet”.Some volunteers here have toilets. I am not so lucky. However, most everyone I know that lives with a Kyrgyz family has a pit toilet (read whole in the ground). I have pretty much a standard issue outhouse. Now when I want to go to the outhouse I will sit and debate how long I think I can wait. When the time comes that I can’t wait anymore the process begins. I put on a pair of tight track pants, and snow pants (more like rain pants but the best I got). Then I put on two or three layers and my coat (a rain coat, again the best I can do). Then I have to debate whether I think it will be a quick trip or a long trip. If it is a long trip I put on a hat, coat, and scarf. Short, I skip all that. Although the other day I thought it would be a short trip and my hands went numb in the process and I couldn’t feel the toilet paper and accidently dropped it down the whole. That is like a mortal sin here, you HAVE to throw it in the trash. Then I have to walk from my room in the back of the house down the hallway through the kitchen. I turn on the lights to the outside. I gently walk down the stairs trying to avoid slipping on the ice. I get down the stairs and try a brisk pace, but still needing to be careful because of ice, so the wind doesn’t blow the snow off the haystack on to me. I walk past the pig pen, then through the cow barn and try to avoid their toilet area. Then I gently shuffle down an icy slope. Get hit by the stabbing cold wind in the open area. Have the dog try and attack me and I’m there! I do my business then have to do everything in reverse. We do have German magazines in there if I am so inclined to read them…. I don’t read German. So, I want you to make sure and fully appreciate everything you have. Even if it is in your least favorite room to clean.