Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Personal Hygiene for Group 84

Ok, this may be a bit more personal than some of you are interested in...we're going to talk hygiene today, to help the new group coming to Samoa.

Ladies, about your "special friend" or "aunt Flo" or whatever you call your period.  Some women here swear by the diva cup.  I believe you can order them online.  Others brought a two-year supply of tampons.  Others use what's available in the villages.  I asked my best Samoan friend what she uses and she immediately responded "Stayfree Maxi pads with wings."  I asked where she got them and there are not one but two stores in my village that carry them.  Apparently cheese is optional but maxipads are mandatory.

For ladies and gentlemen, let's talk body odor.  It is hot and humid in Samoa.  We do have rare cool nights and even a few cool days in some parts of the islands but mostly, it is hot.  Most of us, even the ones with little body fat, sweat.  Especially at work when doing the Hokie Pokie while wearing floor length, skin tight polyester. 

Feminine hygiene spray is available everywhere here and not too expensive.  Male body sprays are also available.

Deodorant here (like maxipads, apparently) is easy to find.  It's also inexpensive.  And for me, doesn't work as well as the brands from home.  I personally, would stash a few sticks of your favorite, especially if you're not partial to roll-ons.

Continuing on the body odor is pricy here and I don't care for it, personally,  Reminds me of the crap I bought my mom for a buck when I was a kid.  Strong but not in a good way.  If you like perfume, bring some but know that the sun and heat will take it's toll on it.

Baby powder is great for body and other stuff and is readily available.  Thank you, mom, for teaching me to sprinkle a bit of baby powder on clean sheets in the summer.

Disposable razors are available everywhere for little money.  I assume shaving cream is too, but have never looked for it.

You can buy emory boards here but I think they're poor quality.  Thanks to my BFF MLT for sending me a really good one in her most recent package.

Mostly, when it comes to keeping sweat free and smelling like the damn daisy that everybody talks about, showers are the best thing.  Yes, they're cold but you get used to that pretty quickly.  It is common for Samoans and some of us volunteers to take multiple showers a day.  For example, it is not unusual for me to shower before school, shower after swimming in the sea after school and shower again to get the sweat off before I go to bed.  My personal record is five showers in one day.  It was hot.

I hope this helps and didn't gross anybody out.

1 comment:

  1. Everytime I go back to Samoa I have to acclimatise, which means sweating heaps and showering heaps. As I finish my very first shower in Samoa, I feel the sweat coming out of my pores just from walking from the shower to the room!

    This also reminds me about my history class, where the European sailors who first came to Polynesia were amazed at how often the natives bathed. The norms back in Europe was once or twice a year! I think I also read that the sailors also noted that Polynesian woman always wore natural fragrances, and had hairless armpits and hairless legs, something not common in Europe.

    Christianity definitely got rid of that!