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The Posh Potty

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

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.

Samantha Marangell
Blogger As a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Moldova ‘07-’09) Samantha appreciates seeing a new country through the host community and, when traveling, she looks forward to learning key phrases in the respective languages. She has just moved to the Australia after a year in the Czech Republic. She will reflect on making friends abroad and figuring out whether she'll finally stay in one place.

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