I’m not actually sure what day it is while I’m writing this… it all depends on what part of the world I’m associating myself with… if I’m still in the US, then yes, I believe it’s still the 22nd.. if we are talking Europe time (as we are flying into Frankfurt) then it’s already the 23rd… so my consciousness is floating somewhere in-between at the moment.
I’m slightly excited at this point, but to be honest, it’s still all very surreal to me. I’ve had tiny moments of excitement every now and again over the past couple months, but nothing that has really taken root and felt like “I’m going to be living in Namibia for the next 2+ years.” I’m still waiting for that moment, and I’ll let you know when it happens.
I want to now go back to a story I should have written about a few days ago, when it happened, but I just didn’t have time to amidst packing and traveling.
So, in order to preface this story I must go into a bit of history on myself. As many of you may know, I was in the military for the past 6 (6 active/2 inactive) years of my life. It was the Reserves, and no actual deployments, so what I consider to be a very easy stint, but I am still proud, as the Marines is no joke.. though sometimes our reserve drills were, but basic training, I think not. Anyway, while I was in the Marines I learned very quickly about the many reasons it sucks to be female in the military. One of these reasons is that it is that when you go on hikes (aka “humps”), whenever there is a few minutes break to pee, it’s incredibly easy for guys to whip it out and pee on any rock, tree or twig they please. For women, you have to duck as far back in the woods as possible to make sure no one can see you, locate a slight slope or otherwise optimal peeing angle where you know you won’t have any run-off leaking onto your boots, un-do your belt, pull down your pants (generally multiple layers), lean backwards or precariously perch in another fashion, and try very hard not to pee on yourself accidentally as you try to control the flow. Finally, you have to decide whether or not to use tissue (if you remembered to pack some), a leaf you’ve found, or do ‘the shake’. This situation has occurred at many times in my life, not only because of the military, but also just hiking or camping with Rudi (husband) or friends.
SO, I’m talking about this because it’s one of the many thoughts that has crossed my mind while I’ve been preparing for my African adventure. I thought about whether or not I’d be in the ‘wilderness’ at my official post, what the bathroom situation would be like, if we’d be camping and hiking over the next few years, etc. I had previously heard there was a magical device that helped with this problem, but had never looked into it before… until NOW. www.GoGirl.com - This is what I found in my research, and I decided, since it was such a reasonable price, that I’d go ahead and buy it and try my luck. The worst case scenario would be that I didn’t like it or it didn’t work and I would toss it… and I figured it was worth a shot, so I bought one. I went with the tan/camo color.. to blend in of course….
So I got it in the mail and checked it out and set it aside to be packed when the time came. Maybe a week ago or so, the bathroom at Rudi’s parent’s house (where we’ve been living) got plugged. Again, this situation was easy for the guys to deal with, but for me… not so much. One night I really had to pee, but the toilet was so clogged that it was not a good idea to just add to the madness. I remembered my new device and told Rudi confidently that I was going to do a trial run and see how it goes. I went to my backpack, grabbed the GoGirl, threw on a pair of old soccer shorts that I didn’t care about ruining if things went badly, and headed to the back yard.
Basically the device is a funnel, shaped in a way so that it will confirm to your body, down there, and angled so that the stream will go in front of you, and not directly down. I read the directions, pulled down my shorts slightly, and…. let it flow. Slowly at first, but then as I became confident in the device, I let the speed increase…. bad idea. The GoGirl worked well, but I should have controlled the flow, and things may have turned out better. The funnel overflowed and pee streamed down my leg and all over my old soccer shorts and underwear. One might think that pissing all over yourself would illicit bad language.. but I actually couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I imagine if someone would have seen me in that moment, they may have even ironically peed themselves laughing at me: standing in my in-laws backyard, in old soccer shorts, with a weird funnel on my hoo-haa, spilling peeing all over myself.
THANKFULLY, Rudi’s brother, who was also staying at his parents’ house before he studied abroad in Europe, was out for the evening, and his parents were already upstairs sleeping. I took this into consideration as I weighed my options in that moment, once the flow stopped of course, and yes, I did finish peeing because at that point I figured it didn’t really matter. I then removed my underwear and shorts, walked around the back of the house, threw them in the trash, walked in the house, rinsed the funnel off in the sink and left it in there, and walked into the bathroom to a stunned Rudi and exclaimed, “It didn’t quite work out as I had planned.” As one can imagine, he was thoroughly amused and not only had the most amazingly shocked expression on his face, but was also laughing hysterically as I turned on the shower and hopping in (that’s love!). Fortunately I too found it thoroughly amusing, so I laughed right along with him, for quite some time, and still find the whole ordeal very amusing!
You may think that is the end of the story… but oh no, the best is yet to come. So, if you recall, I mentioned I put the funnel in the sink after coming inside. Well, after I showered and changed, yes, I did forget about it until the next morning. I woke up, remembered, and walked into the kitchen to finish cleaning it and pack it away again. To my surprise it was nowhere to be found. Actually I retract that emotion, I was only partially surprised because Rudi’s mom is notorious for moving things around and cleaning the instant you have left a room. Many friends have had a hard time locating their jackets, purses, etc, and due to her chronic super-cleanliness (which of course is not a bad thing at all). Back to the story: I scoured the kitchen and kept trying to think of where she put the other funnels in the house and where she may have put this one. I frantically (but still laughing) told Rudi I couldn’t find it, and again he laughed and told me to keep looking. I eventually found it, in one of the bottom drawers, near some Tupperware and some other plastic tools. Rudi and I laughed about this and he insisted I tell her about the ordeal. I was a bit too embarrassed, and also thought she may be a little disgusted with me for placing something I just peed on in the sink without thoroughly washing it (but I DID rinse it off! I’m not a Neanderthal…).
Later that evening the funnel came up in discussion and Margreet (Rudi’s mom) exclaimed as I put the dish washing liquid in the machine, “Oh you know that funnel you left in the sink!? It’s perfect for putting that stuff in the dishwasher. What a handy tool! Where did you get it!?” Rudi tried to coax me into telling the story at the time, but I was still a bit too embarrassed and just wasn’t ready to describe the ordeal to her just yet.
Well, if anyone was wondering, Rudi’s parents, will indeed now know what the funnel really was and why it was in the sink, and are hopefully laughing and not completely disgusted with me. I’ve given them the link to this blog, as I fully intend to share this with anyone and everyone I know, no restrictions. As you can tell, this is my life uncensored, and stuff like this happens in real life. We’re all human and I’m sure most people have accidentally peed on themselves as an adult, whether they want to admit it or not, so I’m here to say, “Yup, me too!”
Oh, and to update on my status generally as I’m sure my mom would appreciate a bit more on how we are doing and what we are doing:
We traveled to DC, saw the lovely Laura, my wonderful HS friend I adore, saw my wonderful friend Shannon from my study abroad in L America, and then headed to Philly for our Staging. I met everyone in our group, who I’m very pleased to say all seem amazing and I find everyone to be awesome in their own ways, and now we are on the plane from JFK to Germany. From there we have about a 8-hour layover, then another 10 hour flight into Namibia, and then are driving to our Pre Service Training site where we will have a full day of introductions. I’ve had a few glasses of free airplane wine, and should probably go to sleep for a bit now, in attempts to decrease my Jetlag (if that’s even possible).
Peace, love and safe peeing.