Current Magazine

Giant Bushrat

By Prodenbough
Giant BushratLatrine

This is where I go to the bathroom in Yembering. A hole in the ground, with some bricks built around it, behind my house. The door on the right is my "private" latrine, to which only I have the key, and the door on the left is the latrine that the Guinean teachers use when they are at work. As you may be able to guess, the structure is not animal-proof.

Giant Bushrat

Principal with bushrat

This is what I found lurking in my latrine one morning this week: a bushrat. I opened the door, and he was huddled in the corner staring back at me. It scared me half to death. I immediately alerted my principal, who fetched some students. As I looked on in horror, the students killed it by hitting it with a stick. They seemed to enjoy themselves while doing so. When the creature was dead, my principal picked it up. I snapped a photo, and then he chucked the corpse over the compound wall.

I dread going to the bathroom. When will I meet another bushrat there, or worse yet, a snake? Although the people of Yembering share my fear of snakes, they don’t understand my fear of bushrats. Bushrats are completely unaggressive, my principal tells me, so what exactly am I afraid of? I don’t know, it’s a giant rat! Isn’t that just inherently terrifying and repulsive? The stuff of nightmares? Apparently not, or at least only for crazy white people.

There are many reasons why I am not cut out for village life, including my fear of critters such as giant bushrats. When I arrived in Guinea in September 2010, I was ready to go back to Gueckedou, the large city that was originally supposed to be my site. I knew I had a nice house waiting for me there, with a real, indoor, ceramic toilet. It doesn’t seem intuitive that you can have a toilet like that without indoor plumbing, but it turns out that you can, it just involves gathering buckets of water with which to flush. Alas, Peace Corps refused to send volunteers back to the Forest Region of Guinea, because it was too far away and isolated. It was ok when there were 75-100 volunteers in country. Nowadays, with fewer than 15 volunteers, they didn’t want to spread the volunteers out so thinly (for security measures, in case of the need for a quick evacuation). If you were wondering why my site was changed, there’s the reason.

So no nice indoor toilet for me. For the rest of my time in Africa, it looks like I’m stuck with this outdoors latrine. I’ll just have to watch out for visitors such as cockroaches, spiders, lizards, frogs, bats, and, of course, bushrats.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen