In honor of World Toilet Day, which was November 19th, I will do a post about the chim. "Chim" is short for chimbudzi, which means toilet or bathroom in Chichewa. Here in Malawi, that will usually be referring to the pit latrine.
I have been using a latrine for almost five months. I haven't talked about it on the blog much, but I've talked to the other PCVs about it. A lot. Including Coalee. One of my PCV mottos is that nothing is gross in Peace Corps. We can share anything, and often do. It definitely takes a lot more to squick me out now.
So the chim. It's not so bad, once you learn the ropes. In case you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use a latrine in rural Africa, I will share the rules of the chim with you as I have learned them here in Malawi:
1) BYOTP - Bring your own toilet paper
2) Always clean up after yourself
3) For a shared chim, you should clap, stomp loudly or make some noise on your way in to ensure you don't walk in on anyone. That would be super awkward.
4) Always replace the cover on the chim when you are finished.
5) NEVER bring anything valuable in the chim
6) Don't look down
That last one is my own personal rule. Some things cannot be unseen, you know? I mean, you can look down at the dark hole and make sure there isn't a bat about to fly out at you. But don't go shining a flashlight into the depths.