Dear Nyri, I’m Unnerved! I am going to do some work in a remote location in the Caribbean, the exact location has not been disclosed, but we were advised to prepare for very rustic conditions as well as outside bathing and latrines.

Do you have any tips or advice on what I can expect? Sincerely~Remote Worker

Dear Remote Worker! 

No need to be unnerved, “rustic” conditions can mean many things and not all equate to discomfort as many assume when we hear those terms. Having lived in remote locations in Trinidad, I can shed a bit of light on what to expect.

You may be in a location that has running water but for a portion of the day or the water is dependent on a pump and is filtered in a few days during the week to fill a tank. This means you will need to be mindful of water usage because the faucet is not free flowing like here, once it is gone, there will be no water until the tanks are filled again. Barrels may be seen in the yard that catch rainwater, this is also to be used as instructed as people allocate water for different purposes so respect the wishes of the host and simply ask questions if you aren’t sure. 

Outside bathing is not a bad thing, and not as much of an inconvenience as one might think. Many homes have a full shower and toilet that is on the back of the home but sits away from the house, depending on the water situation, at times a bucket may be needed to shower or flush the toilet if water is an issue. Depending on the location, this may happen frequently, but it does not mean you will not be able to shower or use the bathroom. 

Latrines have come a long way in some areas, and let us hope this will be the case, more of an outside toilet versus the horrid hole that we all feared as children. If it isn’t, I would suggest training your bowels to empty in the morning when you have natural light, because after dark the bugs that come out to play are a nuisance, add to that the heat and smell, this might be an unnerved moment for sure. 

Expect limited or no internet depending on where you are, and traveling might be a hassle if you are high up in a mountainous area that is difficult to navigate by car. I know many of these things may give you slight anxiety, but some of my most endearing travel moments have come when I was off in some rural village or town living life like the locals without a care in the world. I can tell you, if the roof where you are staying is tin, that will be the best sleep of your life when it rains. The vegetables and fruits will be full of flavor so enjoy anything you see hanging from a tree (with permission if it is in someone’s yard) and any food cooked for you will be made with the freshest of ingredients. 

Chat with the locals passing by and please, if nothing else, remember to say good morning and good evening to everyone you see.  Caribbean people take that personally, so do not say you were not warned. Enjoy the trip for exactly what it is, a time to experience life in an environment that awakens your senses! 

Safe Travels~Nyri

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