One lovely part of working out here is that we never have to “hold it”—since there are no official bathrooms, everywhere is our bathroom. When we have to pee, we just stop the car, hop out, look around for peeping-tom tourists and hungry-looking lions (fat lions are okay), and pop a squat. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s very liberating.
But apparently it’s also perilous. You all probably know someone who has dropped a cell phone into a toilet. (Right now my mom is thinking, “No, no I DON’T know anyone who has done that…what kind of friends does my daughter have?!?”) Well, as is true for many aspects of a modern American life, we have an unconventional equivalent here in the Mara. Last week I had to make a pit stop during a long morning observation session. I stopped the car, hopped out, dropped trou, took care of business, and off we went on our merry way. Unbeknownst to me, my cell phone had fallen out of my back pocket. The very phone that is my lifeline out here, my connection to my loved ones, my boss, the world at large via the internet…all gone with one emptying of the bladder.
I didn’t realize this until about an hour later, at which point we were in a different area. We went back and drove around, furiously calling it while driving with our heads out the windows, searching with our eyes and ears, but alas, to no avail. Somewhere out there, a hyena is happily reconnecting with his friends and family from the Serengeti at the rate of three shillings per minute.
If you’re thinking that it couldn’t possibly have been THAT difficult to find the phone, take a look at the photos below. Where would you even begin?