Potty Stop in the Bush


Potty Stop in the Bush - What Happened and Why?


Location: Antandroy Tribe in Faux Cap, Madagascar

Student: Female, 21  



It was a soul-wrenching heat on the southern tip of Madagascar in February, around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The Antandroy tribal people walk an average of twelve kilometers a day to retrieve water in the arid spiny desert! With my host family, I lay on a sisal mat as still as possible to avoid using too much energy while my sisters prepared the dinner. Whenever I got up to walk to the bathroom, which was a prickly pear cactus of my choice, a five-minute walk from the huts, my face would burn from the relentless western setting sun. When dinner was served and we were all seated around under the shade of the Baobob tree, for some reason my family started screaming amongst themselves in anger and chaos, every once in a while pointing at me. Unable to understand their rapid Malagasy, I was startled and confused, sensing I was definitely the cause of this upset. What had happened?

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