Sunday, June 5, 2011

Floating in Feces

The cement top to our septic tank here in Paraguay was constructed without the use of rebar.

How do I know this you ask? Simple, really. As I stepped across it yesterday, it broke open like a trapdoor and I plummeted into its murky depths. One second I was strolling in the backyard enjoying some South American sunshine. The next, I was chin-deep in everything Carly and I have eaten the past month.

It was a somewhat surreal experience to suddenly find myself submersed in a sea of stool--a pond of poo, if you will. I couldn't have been in that dam of dookie for more than five seconds but time sort of stood still and gave me the chance to really absorb my surroundings. Speaking of absorbing, I lost a flip-flop somewhere down in that Mississippi mud, too.

Thankfully, Carly heard my apropos cries of "Oh shit!" as I climbed out of that estuary of excrement and came to my rescue. She helped me strip naked in the front yard and got me pointed in the direction of the shower. I could even hear her mopping up the slime trail I left in the house as I tried desperately to scrub away the memories of what just happened while picking the peanuts out of my beard.

The poop plunge left my entire body covered in one big scrape. So, the Peace Corps medical staff has me keeping an eye-out for infections. Carly's been helping a lot with applying anti-bacterial cream and keeping the messier wounds covered--God, I love that woman!

But Carly hasn't only been helping my disgusting self. She's apparently got it in her mind to help the people of Paraguay while we're here, as well.

She has morphed into a volunteering machine in our community lately. Just last week, she gave 140 diagnostic tests at one of the local schools to figure out which kids need extra help, setup/ran a really cool recycled art table for an Earth Day festival, attended 3 community meetings, accompanied me as I stumbled through my health census (i.e. worked as a translator), and taught a class of 7th graders the importance of washing their hands by fashioning sinks out of old, 2-liter bottles.

Well, that's about all for now. We'll try to sort out a video tour of our new house once we have everything set up (we're so close).

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