The Shitty Gritty

indiana_jones_holy_grail

In nearly every country I backpack through, the hunt for toilet paper is akin to Indiana’s search for the Holy Grail.

And so I bring my own from home, flattening and finagling to fit rolls of it into my pack.

 

 

I barely used them in Cuba, where I was taught by Cubanos to use pages of the Granma.

cuba-granma-newspaper

While staying in tent camps in Haiti weeks after the quake, I shared the flattened rolls with my Haitian neighbors. When we ran out, they showed me where to wash rags used for the shitty-gritty (add another to the multi-uses for Buffs!).

haitian-boy-peeing-beside-tent

Photo: Sylver Blaque / Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Local children of northern Madagascar rainforest villages followed me into the forest to see how I would use the flattened white roll.

In deeply rural villages in Afghanistan, girls stared suspiciously as I wiped instead of splashing with water.

squat-cartoon

 

Thank God there were no smartphones in the remote areas where I’ve shitty-grittied, or my squat would be YouTube-famous right now.

 

 

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