Friday, April 1, 2011

Road Babe Dispatch From Anloga Ghana

Being a southern lady, reared with grave respect for etiquette, bathroom ventures have always been of the utmost privacy. All of that changed in Africa. My first clue should've been when I asked the tro-tro driver about a bathroom at our stop. After a laugh he said, “Bathroom? You go bush!”

Decency aside, I’ve never been one to fear a jaunt into the wild to take care of personal business, but there wasn’t a bush in sight. Let me rephrase that. There wasn’t a blade of grass in sight. As I dropped my pants and watered the dry red Ghanaian dirt, I hoped none of my fellow travelers had cameras.

It only got more awkward once I started working at a middle school in the coastal town of Anloga. Although they had a stone labyrinth privy with holes dug into the ground, it had no roof. In the school's second story, students gathered at the rail to watch a foreign teacher prove she was as human as everyone else. I looked up at their little expectant faces and cringed.

By the time a hung-over local, reeking of Akpetshie from the long night before, trundled through the white beach sand beside me to discharge the liquid contents of his intestines while I watched the sunrise over the Gulf of Guinea, I knew for sure I'd been desensitized. I casually inched away, glad to be upwind.

Mittie Babette Roger is from Louisiana but lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University and authored the book It's Better to Visit the Shaman Without Questions to Ask. She travels the world volunteering to help disadvantaged children and promoting Blue Iguana Tequila to empower serious drinkers.

1 comment:

  1. This post says so much in so few words. Best Road Babe yet.