Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Authenticity, Part I

Last week, at the Ghana Spa, I got a little bit closer to being a true EWBer.

Sometimes it feels like EWB elevates “suffering.”  Maybe people might not consider my JF placement a real placement since I live in a town, not a village.  My host-family’s house has concrete floors and metal doors.  There’s a store that sells chocolate, cheese, and butter.  I can buy lettuce.  I have a toilet and running water.

This isn’t “authentic” Ghana.  This isn’t a mud house with no windows or doors.  I don’t have to eat TZ every day for a year.  I don’t have to wait until it’s dark so I can poo outside in a hole.

Thank god.  I don’t think I’d handle “suffering” very well.

But last week I got a little bit closer.  Typhoid with diarrhea and vomiting.  For the first time in my adult life, I pooped my pants.

It was just a little bit.  I was at home in my bed and it didn’t even make a mess.  I was able to lurch to the bathroom and clean myself up.  But it was a step.

I know people are scoffing: “Whatever.  You didn’t have to lie outside in your own filth in the sun.  Don’t pretend you’re hardcore when you’re not.”

In this luxurious lifestyle, I’ll take whatever authenticity points I can get.

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One thought on “Authenticity, Part I

  1. I love this. The honesty never gets old c:

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