So, this picture, I would think, is fairly self-explanatory, but because it humors me, I’m going to give a rather thorough explanation.

Turkish toilets do not have seats.  Let’s start there.  Some folks in the group have a problem with this, but it has quickly become one of my favorite things here.  There’s a wonderful simplicity to it once you figure out how to navigate the toilet.  There are two “steps” where you rest your feet along with a rather small hole that you might want to think of as a “target” of sorts.  In fact, every time I use the bathroom, I think of that scene in Star Wars where they’re trying to destroy the Death Star, and they yell, “Stay on target!  Stay on target!”

Standing on the steps, you pull up your pants legs from the bottom, then pull down your pants and squat.  Next, you turn on the spicket in front of you, which collects water in a bucket nearby.  Once you have done this, you are ready to begin your toiletry experience.

I won’t go into as many details here, but your goal is to essentially “clean up” with your left hand while ensuring that your right hand always stays clean, as does the water in the bucket.  This is why you always use your right hand in greetings or when you’re eating food, never your left.  Your right hand is your “good” hand.

I’m starting to get pretty good at this, if I may say so myself.  So good, in fact, that I’m beginning to feel like I’ve really started to integrate myself into my host family.  That may be a strange thing to say, you know, that pooping right makes me feel more integrated into Moroccan society, but it’s a big deal to me.  A name-changing kind of big deal.  As I mentioned previously, they’ve been referring to me as “Philippe,” which is my “Mirikaini” name, though I discovered at “school” today that I actually already have a Moroccan name, which is basically the closest thing to “Philippe” as you can come.

So, when I got home this evening, I sat next to Fatima and reintroduced myself as “Fouad.”  It means “heart.”  I find it to be a fitting name for many reasons, mostly because of what Morocco means to me or how every aspect of this place goes straight to my heart.  Before I came here, I spent more time living with my brain.  Fouad is a nice change of pace, more appropriate and purposeful.

After I became “Fouad,” I was told that I would be the one in the family this November to slaughter the sheep that they purchase for Eid Al Fitr.  I’m not going to explain that right now, but let me just say – I am so excited about that.  I’ll explain later, for sure.  I was also invited to the Hammam, a bath house, tomorrow night and later given a key to the house that has my name on it.  They are wonderful about making me feel welcome, are they not?  But who isn’t in Morocco?


  1. Hey philip!
    I’m so glad you’ve written some more blogs! Really entertaining, and I am so glad to see that you’re enjoying yourself and feeling loved and welcomed.

    Miss you. :)


  2. I love reading your blogs! I agree with you on “living with your brain”. It’s great to see the other side of you. I can tell this will be a wonderful experience for you! Love U! Auntie


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