The door to my very first outhouse as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Funny how a couple years back in America has completely altered my concept of an acceptable toilet. I’d rather utilize a hole in the ground than a mud-smothered, though tiled, public restroom. I’m a little ashamed at my new refusal to use a seemingly dirty restroom.

When taking a Humanitarian course in graduate school, I realized just how elaborate my thoughts were on the characteristics of well-made outhouses. For example: the hole should not be so far back that a bare bum hits the back wall; the hole should be suitable for a female’s aim, rather than a male’s; a unit with a light is ideal; and the toilet paper roll should have its own raised holder.

In remembrance of a time when such was my daily norm, here is my 2007 Peace Corps self praising the high quality of my host family’s outhouse.

Original entry from December 6, 2007:

Apparently I have one of the top ten veceuls (outhouses) in Moldova! It is made out of clay/cement rather than wood. The floor has terra cotta, and I have a wool-covered SEAT for those winter months. Of course the seat is covering a simple hold, but it makes the sick days a tad bit less depressing. And we have a LIGHT inside! For those of you who have never had to squat over a tiny hole, you know that a lack of light at night makes it that much more daunting.

While my opinions on preferable outhouses may be detailed, I’m grateful that I’m no longer required to use them.