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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SHEWEE does Afghanistan with Dr Karen Woo

In honour of International Women's Day: 8th March 2010, I'd like to share with you one of my most recent discoveries....:)

I was delighted when early one morning I received my bright pink Shewee Extreme through the post. As a frequent traveller I had been looking for the ultimate in feminine travel accessories and jumped at the chance to order one on Shewee’s excellent website

Within a few days of ordering I was the proud owner of a device that would allow me to roam off the beaten track and enable me to avoid the usual indignity and hassle of squatting behind a bush with a bare bottom and splash marks on my shoes. Resembling a small rubberised funnel, using the Shewee required a bit of confidence at first but I soon got the hang of it and after that it was easy to use. The Shewee fitted easily into a trouser pocket and the plastic case made it simple to tuck into a rucksack or a handbag.

As a surgeon I had trained myself to stand for several hours and ignore my bladder but my upcoming trip was a little different; I was off to Afghanistan to make a documentary about access to healthcare facilities for woman and children. I knew that we would be spending hours on the road travelling between rural villages in places where the off road areas might be heavily mined. There would be absolutely no nipping off into a field to find a convenient bit of covering shrubbery. The thought of accidentally getting blown up whilst squatting for a pee was a comical yet sobering thought! Wearing heavy body armour and lots of outdoor clothing presented additional challenges when having to disrobe conveniently and maintain a touch of dignity. In a Muslim country where the modesty of women is very important there were additional reasons not to have to squat in the road behind the wheel of the four by four.

I had my first opportunity to put the Shewee to the test whilst travelling to a small village in the North of Afghanistan; we were miles from anywhere and it was just too dangerous to leave the vehicle, a brief moment with my Shewee and absorbent pouch and I was back in action, no need even for the driver to stop the car.

Having had the pleasure of numerous styles of loo around the world I was determined this time to go in style! The Shewee gave me the freedom to be discrete whilst working in the field in rural areas of Afghanistan with scant suitable facilities. Where toilets did exist, being able to avoid having to squat in rather unsavoury surroundings was a joy.

For any woman who values the freedom to get on with life whether it is under hostile conditions, adventurous terrain or just a long car journey, I would recommend a Shewee!

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