I wake up between 3-4am each morning because our bed makes my back hate me. This morning around 3:20 while standing it the little space next to our bed trying to stretch out the elusive muscles in the middle of my back, I decide as long as long as I’m up I should visit the bathroom. We don’t really have a “bathroom”. The latrine is about 20 feet from the far side of our house, but the tricky part is that our house is in lockdown mode.
With very little noise, in the complete darkness, I exit our room cross the living room and feel for the big chair. Why the big chair? Because, after 9:30 each night our family double locks the door, sets a long 2x4 to cover the crack at the bottom, then places the large living room chair to block the locked door. I stealthily move the chair and 2x4, unlock the door, and flip the deadbolt open. The opening in the porch is covered at night by a large board held up by a tree stump so I hop over the low porch wall and walk the length of the house. As I reach the corner of the house the roosters start to crow.
I don’t think our family has a rooster to go with their chickens, but there are plenty around and when one starts up they pass the message like dogs howling at the moon. I don’t know why they started up at 3:20 am. The sun wasn’t coming up, but contrary to popular belief roosters do not crow at sunrise. Well they do, but they also crow all day, whenever the feel like it. I can hear one now as I type this. Gallos tontos. (stupid roosters)
I stop and listen thinking, gallos tontos, then turn the corner and step on a board that clicks against a cement block three feet from our host parents bedroom. Two seconds later the light comes on over my head followed by three other lights, one for each side of the house. I scamper through the dewy grass to the latrine, and sit there reviewing my options hoping the lights go off. Julia, our host mother, comes out with a roll and asks “Does Foy need toilet paper?” I pop my head out and tell her that “There is some here already. Thank you.”
In a way it is comforting that so little noise can bring Julia out to see who is there in the middle of the night. This place must have been like Fort Knox for the boyfriends of their three daughters.
The latrine is clean, well ventilated, and other than toilet paper, empty. With no other options I peak at the house and Julia bless her soul is not to be seen. With long even strides, barely bothering to concealing my predicament, I cover the distance to the porch, over the wall, and into our room in record time.
I tug on a pair of boxers.
Then I head back out to lockup and reset the blockade. The exterior lights flick out one by one and my little adventure is done.
Foy has recommended that I not share my little story too freely in the community due to the speed gossip travels, but in retrospect I thought it was amusing enough to earn a post.