- How old am I:
- Caters to:
- I like man
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I would just like to remark on how easy it was to get people to tell embarrassing stories of defecating all over themselves for my enjoyment Thank you! In kindergarden I would poop my pants at least once a week.
I was twenty one years old. I was in control of my own movements and self. I had an accessible toilet. It was a sunny and clear morning in the Indian Himalayan foothills. I woke up promptly at six am to my host mother knocking on the window, bringing us morning tea. Sweet, gingery flavor enticed me out of the bed I shared with two other American girls. I opened the shuttered window, thanked Binaji for the tea, and began to get ready to start the day.
Binaji, our host mother, was the granpanchayat, or mayor, of the village Reetha.
Conditions & treatments
Posted high in the Himalayan foothills, Reetha is home to mainly agricultural families. Peaches, pears, apples, cucumbers, plums, and cabbages thrive on the tiered mountain sides. That time of year, late July, the peaches were perfectly ripe. We came home each afternoon and she indulged in them with us, attempting to teach us Hindi and laughing at our inability to pronounce the eight.
I had so many questions I wanted to ask her: what is it like to be in a village leadership role, especially as a woman? How long has your family lived in this house?
Encopresis in children
May I pet the dog? She spoke no English, and I spoke no Hindi. So we ate peaches and tried to come up with innovative hand gestures to describe our hopes, struggles, and the world around us. The house was white with blue shutters. Built of clay, the floors, ceilings, and walls sloped away from each other. The first time I walked inside was for dinner.
It was dark, and the only light in the front room came from a shrine Binaji and her husband used for worship. A statue of Ganesha looked protectively over the room, ready to receive and ease all worries.
Binaji was in the kitchen. She motioned for us to move closer. I had to stoop my head to avoid bumping it on the clay ceilings above me. The kitchen was unlike any room I have ever been in before, and likely any room I ever will be inside again. It was dimly lit — the only real light source a small fire and an electric lantern in the middle of the room.
Afraid of using public bathrooms?
In the far corner sat a small electric stove and a set of pots and pans. A large cabinet stood next to it, so large it seemed like the room had been built around it — there was no way it could have fit through the stunted doors. The shelves overflowed with containers of spices and vegetables and flour. Although none of the containers had words on them, Binaji always knew just which one held what. In the corner closest to the door there was a small wood fireplace, and squatting down next to it was Binaji.
Years of smoke from the fireplace blackened the wall around her and the ceiling above. When she moved, I saw a distinct outline of her shape forever immortalized in the wall behind her.
She poked sticks into the fire to start a large enough flame, then rolled chapati and placed it on a small metal plate above the fire. With a hollowed out stick she blew on the flame to just the right height, and then grabbed the hot chapati with bare fingers and handed it directly to one of us.
It never failed to burn my sensitive hands. Our room was in a side house, attached to the barn, separate from the main living quarters. It was square, with a large bed in one corner.
The walls at one point were blue, but were now faded to a slightly-teal white. A flock of swallows had evidently occupied the room before we did. There were three mud nests inside the room, and the wall and floor beneath each was littered with stains of their excrement. As the three of us piled into the bed each night we could hear the cows sleeping soundly through our shared wall.
When I woke up on that fateful morning, I was feeling a little off-kilter. I was also starting to miss the comforts of home. As rewarding as it had been to challenge myself, I was getting a little tired with eating only potatoes and chapati.
Apparently, so was my digestion system.
You are here
I should really go to the bathroom. The bathroom was in a small tin shed down the hill and around the corner. The shed was short — my head could touch the ceiling — and made of cement. The door to the bathroom was a piece of tin, with holes in it just large enough to make you pretty sure others could see inside, and held closed by a short length of string clasped to a rusty nail in the wall.
The toilet itself was a ceramic hole in the ground, that required a person squat to use it. As I ran down the hill, I knew I was in trouble. One of the girls I was living with had already left the room to use the bathroom, and there was going to be a line. I swatted past dancing butterflies and hopping frogs to the bathroom stall and banged on the door.
Do you fear not making it to the toilet on time?
I ran into the stall, squatted as fast as humanly possible, and ripped down my pants. But it was too late. The poop had already started, and it was not stopping anytime soon. There I squatted, uncontrollable bowel functions on one end and a large spider inching closer and closer on the other, and I wondered at what point this had become my life. At what point did it become me who was off having adventures and diarrhea, and not someone else?
Really, anybody else?
The program was perfect. Two months long, a relatively tourist-free area, a homestay component — I knew I would never be able to experience something like that if I tried to plan it myself. I probably knew, deep down somewhere, that I would never go someplace that challenged my way of living if I tried to plan it myself. My pants were a mess, not cleanable with the meager amount of toilet paper I grabbed in anticipation.
I needed to walk back up the hill to my room and to the potential of cleaner clothes.
Tips to ease your fear of pooping in public places
I had no choice. I pulled my poopy pants back up, and stepped out of the stall. The air felt different. Or maybe that was just my smell. I trudged up the hill and got to the room. Luckily, I had a stash of wet wipes and was able to get cleaned up pretty well. Unluckily, I had no access to garbage disposal. There is no real garbage infrastructure in that area of rural India, and there was no way I was going to leave that particular garbage for my host family to dispose of themselves.
That meant I got to pack everything in my backpack. All of the toilet paper and wipes, and yes, even the poopy pants, made it into my bag. That morning we were leaving our homestay for the weekend to stay in a nearby resort. As I re-packed my bag, I came to the slow realization that now I would need to carry all of my belongings, which now smelled highly questionable, the four miles to the resort.
It was a long trek. The flies, always present, were positively incessant. I walked with a sad, slow pace.