How to Prepare for a Mission Trip to Thailand

A close friend of mine is going to Thailand on a mission trip.  I am totally perplexed about this.  This is the same friend that refuses to touch public doorknobs and elevator buttons and keeps an industrial size container of sanitizer in her purse.  Add she goes through acute cell phone withdrawal if there is no cell phone service for more than 3 minutes at a time. 

Now, there are no modern toilet facilities in Thailand.  Basically a Thailand toilet is a hole in the ground that you squat over.  And you have to get lessons from someone on how to do this.  I shudder with horror thinking that someone I care about is going to be squatting over a toilet hole in the jungle.  On purpose.  

She shared with me a list of items that she has to bring:

  1. Imodium.  Not for “if” you get diarrhea; but “when” you get it.  Now, call me fussy but if I am going to go somewhere with the understanding that I am definitely going to get diarrhea when I get there, I would most probably politely decline the trip.
  2. Toilet Paper.  (Reference #1 above).  I would have to bring a whole suitcase of nothing but Charmin.  And what is she going to do when the minister she is traveling with runs out of toilet paper and asks for some of hers?  Call me ungodly, but I would refuse.  Especially if I had diarrhea. 
  3. Mosquito spray, bracelet, net, sphere, dome, etc.  Oh yeah, let’s go to a place where there are rabid mosquitoes ready and willing to suck your blood.  Constantly.  Repeatedly. While you are squatting over a toilet hole with incurable diarrhea.
  4. Shower Lily (this was not on the “official” mission item list).  For clarification, this is one of those shower mesh balls used with bath gel. Yeah, no problem with squatting to pee but my friend is absolutely not going to give up her shower lily. 
  5. Large Toiletries Bag.  Hello?  Can we all say Gallon Sized Ziploc Baggies?  Or trash bags?  BTW, I wonder how she is going to get her expensive suitcase on wheels to roll over the jungle floor?
  6. Flashlight.  To avoid those scorpions, deadly spiders and (gasp) stepping into a toilet hole in the dark.
  7. Flip flops.   I would bring more than one pair. Because both my friend and I know that she will potty on them as she squats.  Just sayin.

Now I am certainly not against mission work.  I mean, I would be very willing to go on a mission trip to the Bahamas or Jamaica or Cozumel.  Anywhere there is modern toilets and air conditioning. And a nice beach with rum drinks.

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