To the Bathroom

Priyanka Rao - Ecuador

October 14, 2011

It’s 3:41 in the morning, and I just got back quivering into my bed.  I’d had to go pee for several hours but hadn’t figured out how I would make it alive.  I knew I was living in the rainforest region but this truly clarifies: I am living IN it.

The rain droplets can be heard tapping ominously on the tin roof sporadically, and the crickets abound in song.  I just wanted to pee but I was afraid the front door would be locked when I got down stairs and the distant yellow ‘street’ light is too bright to just do it outside.  When I finally get the courage to go downstairs, the dog was furry and gone.  Josefa the cat is just glad I let him in, and at 3:00 am something is cooking on the stove.  In her nightgown my mother greets, “Hola!” in her most cheery daylight voice and I realize this is no big deal.  On the way back I am extremely relieved, until I hear the calls of distant wolves… or something. My heart leaps as the call is answered from the edge of the yard.  I rush cautiously back upstairs closing all the doors behind me, but by the time I reach my room I’ve realized it was the giant squealing call of the pig we are to eat for Christmas.  No artificial fatteners.  I guess he thinks he’s a wolf.  Or a loud rooster.  But my heart stopped beating so fast.  Except for the giant “voice of God” that suddenly permeated the entire neighborhood, saying something about ‘compañeros’.  I don’t know what to say, but I just hope that along with all my two brothers, sister, parents, and friends, I will learn to sleep at night.

Priyanka Rao