Google+ Authentic Parenting: Public Potty

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Public Potty

I’ve been in Congo for 10 days now... well, I think it’s 10 days, I’ve kind of lost track of time ever since I arrived here, but that’s a good sign. So many things have happened that I want to write about, that I just stopped in the middle of unpacking and sat down to write!

We’ve arrived at the plantation, after a couple of days at Kinshasa, since my husband had to stay there for work.
I’ll probably have to do this in multiple posts, since I rarely get a long uninterrupted time to write.
The first funny thing that happened was when we went shopping in Kinshasa. Kinshasa is actually not as bad as my husband had made it seem and they have huge supermarkets with the widest range of produce I have seen in Africa so far. The first store we did - as we had to shop for food for 5 adults, a child and a dog for one month, we did several - we bought a potty for my daughter.

I had wanted to find an alternative to a plastic potty, maybe have her go on a ceramic bowl, but she decided otherwise and said she needed a potty.

Who’s to argue?
We got the potty and four shopping carts full of stuff and went to the cashier. (There were four of us plus the little one doing all this shopping, so the four shopping carts were manageable.) We had two accounts: our private one, for things we wanted just for us, and a general one for the community, as we would be sharing a house.
By the time it was our turn, the little one had to pee. Badly. “Just give me the potty!”, she shouted, for everyone to hear.

We were of course embarrassed and needed to find a solution, desperately!

I told my husband to go with her outside, since there was a restaurant nearby, but she refused. She wanted to go on her newly acquired potty, even though we hadn’t paid for it yet.

All the while the cashier had been following what she understood of the argument and told us to just let her go.

So it happened that my daughter inaugurated her new potty in a full store in Kinshasa. Unlike what you might think, everyone smiled and found it very cute.
Just one more reason why I love Africa.



  1. You should label this post "don't try this at home" ;-) Here in Belgium, sad enough, you would no doubtably get verbalised, arrested and fined for more reasons than you could ever thought possible.

    I am glad to read your little one is finally feeling at home again :-) and you to, I hope!


  2. Just started following your blog, what a cool surprise to hear you are now in Africa. I love Africa too!! I was in Malawi pre-spouse, pre-baby by myself--what a different rhythym to life there, in a good way. I know, it's a huge diverse continent...perhaps unfair to generalize this way. :) Anyway, I will look forward to reading more of your adventures there!

  3. Oh wow! That is so funny and cute and amazing!


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