Personal hygiene is paramount for me, a Mgeni, whose internal system is relatively fragile compared with locals.
Everything I touch has some form of bacteria on it, in it and around it; this is the case everywhere except possibly in sterile labs and hospital theatres.
Lucky most ‘English Bacteria’ my body is capable of dealing with when in the UK; but here in rural Africa those little bu…ers will run riot if I let them in!
It has become a pastime for locals to bet with each other on the number of visits to the long drop a queasy Mgeni makes per hour!
Records are made to be broken
Shower every morning in cold water, keeping your mouth shut – even when you want to sing or curse.
Clean teeth and rinse mouth & brush with bottled or boiled water.
Carry wet wipes and a small anti bacterial hand gel. Here everyone wants to shake your hand. Do they all use gel?
Check your feet regularly, common problem is ‘Jiggers’. Flea type parasite lay their eggs into your feet, the egg hatches and the egg sack grows inside your feet; itch madly make you jig around, hence the name. Dig out with needle if you can’t get to or afford a medic. Locals put their feet in cattle dips! Jiggers are rife at schools with mud floors.
I would like to point out although my shower is always cold, it is a Kenyan Luxury Shower, the water comes from a tank that is manually filled from a borehole not river water.
I often recall when my water tank ran dry and the flow stopped just at the key moment I was left standing naked, completely lathered from head to toe.