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Archive for July 17th, 2009

The Tundra Drums is reporting that some federal stimulus money will be making its way to rural Alaskan villages to help replace honey buckets with flush toilets. In this day and age, no one should be using a honey bucket. When I lived in the village, I had a honey bucket for the first 4 1/2 years. Finally, in the last year of my time there, a flush toilet was installed in my house. We had a huge water tank in the bathroom that also ran to the kitchen so that we could have running water to wash our hands and cook with. It emptied into a bucket under the sink which we had to haul outside to dump, but hey, we weren’t complaining.

Using the honey bucket was gross enough, but having to empty it was worse. No one wanted to be the one to empty it, and once it got too full, well, you had a problem. Hauling a practically overflowing bucket of human waste on a sled in the middle of a blizzard down to the local “lagoon” was probably the worst part of living in the village. I cringe just thinking about it.

So, if nothing else good comes out of the stimulus package (and I know it will), at least there will be fewer people that have to make that weekly trip to the lagoon. Thank you, President Obama.

newtok_junge

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