Archive for June, 2013

I’ve never been much of a poop talker.

And it’s odd, considering I find potty humor hilarious.

But Nepal has changed all that.

Or rather, I still find it hilarious, but now I’m involved in the conversation. In Nepal it was hard not to be.

There were at least 10 of us in the volunteer house at any given time, and I don’t think a week went by when someone didn’t have the shits. It actually got to be a common greeting among some of the volunteers with more consistent problems.

Hey! How’s the poop situation?

Not an uncommon phrase to hear. Nor was it uncommon to hear (or ask for) detailed descriptions of bowel movements. Because everyone had suffered at one point or another, we all felt qualified to offer our opinions on dealing with the situation. And we all knew the elation felt when one girl answered the poop greeting with, “It’s a good day! I can actually fart without pooping!

It’s truly amazing how much bowel movement chatter can bond a group. Maybe it’s along the lines of misery loves company, but there’s some humor in there, too.

There’s the look on someone’s face when he knows he needs the toilet ASAP, but he’s at least five minutes away from the volunteer house. And running makes it worse.

There’s the frantic tone in someone’s voice when she calls out, “I’ll be right back!” to her boys, as she’s already sprinting out of their house and to the safety of a Western toilet.

There’s the grudging admission that someone won’t be leaving the house at all, for fear of being too far away from the bathroom, just in case.

And then there’s the realization that you have to poop, but there’s absolutely no toilet paper left and you’re out of time.

Maybe some of those are only funny later on, or maybe you had to be there. But the bottom line is that poop talk (among other things) bonded us as volunteers.

I haven’t tried this bonding technique with friends back here, yet. But it might be worth it if only to see the reaction to, “How’s the poop situation?

Just out of curiosity – how would you respond?

Read Full Post »

Sneak attack

I feel like my birthday just snuck up on me this year.

Usually I’m prepared. Usually I’ve evaluated my old birthday list, and I’m ready with a whole new set of goals.

This year I’m running on Nepali time, where everything is delayed for, well, however long it takes.

I don’t have a new list.

I barely remember what’s on my old list.

And part of me kind of doesn’t care.

(The other part, of course, is still the same old OCD Elizabeth and wants to make a new list.)

Maybe I’ll come up with a new set of goals. Maybe I’ll even revisit the old ones.

Or maybe I’ll just celebrate my birthday this year by listening to some of my favorite Nepali songs on repeat and dancing at my desk.

My boys would be so proud.

Read Full Post »