The shower community

Thirteen past 6 pm. You lock the door behind you and stroll from your hut to the showers. On your short walk you smile and wave at the people you know, who smile and wave back. You avoid the warthog, curse the thorn that sneaks past your sandal and into your middle toe. Several people a standing by the showers. They stare at you as you approach. Oh, you forgot it’s Friday. Newbies. You politely greet them before you step around and into the shower hallway.

There’s already other volunteers there. You meet each others eyes and laugh with your hands covering your mouths. It was strange for you too the first time you saw someone walking in only a towel and sandals. Not to mention doing it yourself the first time. Now you know everyone does it. It doesn’t matter what gender, age or size you are – you all have two things in common- you are all so freaking dirty. And you all hope there’s water left.


Like the bathrooms, the showers can’t be locked. Hanging your towel over your door is therefore important, unless you want visitors. You may get them anyway, some people needs glasses.

The spiders welcome you as usual, you chase the cat away, and step into one of the showers when it’s available. You only turn on the cold water, because turning on the hot water makes no difference. It’s nice though, it cools you down.

“NOOOOO! I have shampoo EVERYWHERE!” You laugh. Like everyone else. The voice belongs to a friend of you, and there’s undoubtedly no more water in her shower. You rinse and listen to that girl that always sings. You listen to someone’s story about a caracal sleepout with lots of mosquitos. You smile. This will, strangely, be one of the things you will miss when you leave.

Feeling refreshed, you get out of the shower. What you thought was a new tan is down the drain, and you can see the real color of your feet again. It will be possible for about five more seconds, until the sand from outside blows over you.


As you look yourself in one of the few mirrors on the entire camp, another volunteer enters the showers. He puts his fingers to his lips as you open your mouth to ask what everyone asks around here: “how was your day?” With your head tilted, you watch him as he slowly approaches one of the showers. He has something balled up in his left hand. Your mouth takes the form of an “O” and then you grin. He lifts his eyebrows at you and drop it over the door. He starts grinning too. A few seconds later another guy, the one currently taking a shower, goes “what the hell?!” And you both hurry silently out. There you laugh and whisper “see ya!”.

Who would have guessed that taking a shower in a volunteercamp could be such fun? Not you before you came here. But every shower is an adventure here, at Harnas Wildlife Foundation. Especially when warthogs are hiding in the bushes. Your towel looks like an excellent dessert.

They sneak up on you when you least expect it…

P.S. It was a pair of his old boxers he had in his hands

6 thoughts on “The shower community

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