Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mighty Pisikoa


Mighty Pisikoa

Pisikoa is the Samoan word for Peace Corps, but it means more than that! Early Peace Corps Volunteers in Samoa were leaders in the construction of “water toilets”. These toilets took the place of earthen latrines or simply shitting behind a tree. (To use you simply dumped a bucket of water into the pisikoa to flush into the hole below). This was a monumental improvement in public health. The toilets thus became known as, Pisikoas.

As piped water became available, flush toilets of the John Crapper variety, replaced the Pisikoa, but mostly still flushing into a hole in the ground. Pisikoa have been banned throughout most of Samoa, however many of these concrete monoliths remain, an undedicated testament to the Peace Corps.


Teri said...

Dad, I'm not sure what I'm looking at here. Did this "monument" formerly exist inside a home? Or were the pisikoa intentionally built outdoors high up on a mound for dramatic effect?

Interesting that the Samoan word for Peace Corps is nearly synonymous with poo. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Before the pisikoa fale laiititi, Samoans built them along the oceans and the bushes.