Ironically, I strongly believe that the Senegalese natives have better hygiene than most of the Peace Corps Volunteers in country. Soap is widely used, as far as I’ve seen. It’s benefits and importance is known. It is prized so highly that it is actually given as gifts at weddings and baby showers. It is always kept in stock in the boutiques and is one of the most commonly bought items.
Islam and hygiene.
One of the Five Pillars of Islam is to pray 5 times a day. In order to pray, you must present yourself to Allah, clean. This means you must at least wash your face, head, brush your teeth, and wash your hands as feet. Some just bathe completely but other times it is just more convenient to use these plastic tea kettle-looking things in order to bathe anywhere they need to. They stop working in order to do so, they plan meals around doing so, everything is dependent on these prayer times. As you can see, bathing is frequent! Since food is eaten with hands, hand washing is typically pretty good even if they sometimes only use soap after the meal. However, there is a strict right hand rule: your left hand is used for the bathroom, the right for everything else.
I have began to take two bucket baths when it’s warm out, they are so refreshing in the afternoon or early evening after a day of work.


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