From Ruffin’ it to a Luxury Outhouse   3 comments

Bathroom in the bushes works perfect except when its raining or too dark to creep in the weeds. For those moments, we have a hand-held porta-potty. Weighs almost nothing!

We’ve been in the new house five weeks now as of Saturday.  Pretty much all was ready and in place for living here.  All the doors and windows were in, the water and electric were connected.

But a few odds and ends remained, mostly in the way of the sh*t, shower, and shave routine.

Jesus hadn’t built an outhouse yet, so we had to do our business in “el monte” (the bushes/grass).

I didn’t mind it, as we don’t have neighbors on one side, and lots of trees between us and our neighbors on the other side, and numerous spots to choose from.

The bathroom in the bushes was working as a fine go-between till we had the outhouse done, until…. One morning I heard loud cracking noises in the field next to us.  The owners had decided to cut down various trees and brush to plant a “milpa” (cornfield), and Jesus’ Tio (uncle) was just a choppin’ away at that wood.   When he was done several hours later, he left a new, giant clearing next to our backyard, giving  a clear line-of-sight for anyone working the field to see us doing our “business”.   NOW the outhouse became more urgent.  We were doing all sorts of funny gymnastics out there, ducking behind bigger bushes we could find or going almost down to ones by the river (and hoping no one was coming to swim!) to do the daily duty.

So, my husband got started quickly.  He built a cement slab, with a hole connected to four
inch PVC piping that runs down a small incline to the mini septic tank.   Since it’s only
temporary, we decided on sheet metal attached to wood.   Here is the finished product:

We are the proud owners of Jicaron’s only luxury, flushing outhouse.

The mini-septic tank my husband built (isn’t he clever?), sticking an upside down barrel into the ground. So much rock he couldn’t get it all the way in, but its our “2-3 month septic tank for 2 daily sh*tters” so it will hold up until we leave. If not, there’s always the bathroom-in-the-bushes.

I cannot shower with my clothes on, OK?   Jesus will shower in front of the pila, wearing his underwear, which is the typical Salvadoran in the country style way to bathe, though he prefers to bathe in the river at the bottom of the hill.   Women need to wear more, usually a tank top and a pair of shorts or skirt is the norm.   People just wash themselves, and suds themselves up under their clothing to get the covered parts clean, and then rinse out like that, with clothes on, and it’s all perfectly normal, no one blinks.  No shower stall, curtain, nothing.   Because you’re all covered up anyway, you can even be talking with someone while you’re bathing.   Personally, I prefer the full strip-down style, so I’ve adopted the corner behind the kitchen as my shower stall.  It works well, and is close enough to the house to stay out of the view of anyone in the cornfield next door.

I started out with scrap pieces of Durock from construction, and last week Jesus cemented over the earth so I now have a real floor to shower on.   Jesus claims that anyone in the pasture on the other side of the river like Romeo (the owner), can see me bathing.  Well heck, his champa in the pasture (shed) is nearly two football fields away –  from where I shower I barely see him, let alone any details on his person.  Which means the same for him looking this way, right?    “If he sees a tiny pink human figure in the distance, and guesses it’s me bathing, I hope it makes his day,” I told him.

My open-air bucket shower, sporting a durock cee-ment board floor.  Husband gave me an upgrade, and cemented the ground a week ago.

The light green area in the middle is Romeo’s cow pasture (name is pronounced “Roh-may-oh” btw). I think it’s kinda far to see much. You be the judge.

3 responses to “From Ruffin’ it to a Luxury Outhouse

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  1. How’s Romeo’s vision? Does he wear glasses? If this is the case, I wouldn’t worry about him seeing you showering. Now, if he looks at you kind of funny when he visits your house, then, I would worry. By the way, there is a word that we used when I was little when spying on someone: capiar. Ask your husband if this word is still in “fashion”–not that I think it ever was. I think I may a bit older than him and so my vocabulary–informal–may be out of date. “Chulon” (desnudo) is another word for naked.

    • I know that Romeo is getting on in years – maybe pushing 60? I can’t remember if I’d heard chulon before as it’s not in my vocab yet, but I’ll ask my husband. He tends to use ‘pelado/a’ for naked – hope that’s not too much of a dirty word to mention here on the blog.

  2. No pelado or chulon are not offensive words in El Salvador; it is colloquial for “desnudo/a.” However, they may be offensive in other countries. I have heard the word pelado in Texas describing someone as poor, vulgar, without manners, etc. I am sure that it has different meanings depending on the context and country where it’s being used. Just like patojo; in El Salvador it means someone who limps while walking. In Guatemala it means a child like bicho or cipote in El Salvador. Bicho in some countries means insect. Language is very fascinating!

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