Pooping in a hole in the ground is usually one of the bigger concerns for invitees to Peace Corps Zambia. I wasn’t concerned. For one thing, I was an avid backpacker when I lived in California and so I made my own holes in the ground before I pooped in them. For another, we were all assured that living in a mud hut without electricity or indoor plumbing would be the first thing we adjusted to, not the last.
And yes, I have indeed gotten used to squatting over a hole in the ground whenever nature calls. What I didn’t expect is that I actually prefer my chimbusu to toilets now. And I’ve got two solid (groan) reasons why:
Disclaimer: I’m going to talk about poop. A lot. Graphically. Delicate sensibilities have been warned.
-Last year I read a life tip on Reddit (oh, how I miss Reddit) that advised elevating your feet while sitting on the toilet to facilitate a smoother and less messy deposit. It aligns your lower intestine with your anus in such a way that it creates a straighter shot, and behold, it works! (Also works out your hammies like a boss.) Well, squatting on your thighs over your chimbusu opening as you do your business creates that same magical alignment where everything just slides right out with minimal sticking. Fact: I’ve used only two rolls of toilet paper over the past two months of regular bowel movements.
-You know how in the 4th grade you were told that the heart is the strongest muscle in the body? That’s crock. When I have diarrhea (and here in this country of new foods, suspect water sources, and dubious hygiene practices, this means every week), my rear end becomes a projectile launcher with approximately the same stored energy as a dying sun. The last thing I want to aim that sucker at is a bowl full of water 7 inches away. Good grief.