The Handwashing Session

THE HANDWASHING SESSION ©Ariane KirtleyTHE HANDWASHING SESSION: Cherifa teaches Indima and Rafia the “proper” way of washing hands. It’s a little funny, since I am the one that taught Cherifa the importance of handwashing.

Now she and her sister, Marie, almost obsessively wash their hands, reminding and teaching my own kids about how to wash their hands.

In Niger, since there aren’t faucets in every home, the trusted “bouta” that looks like a plastic tea kettle comes in handy. You fill up the bouta with water and use it as a portable “faucet”. It is often used to wash hands and feet for abulitions before prayer. People are so accustomed to using a bouta that they often use it instead of their faucet, even if one is available.