We don’t have showers or baths here, and the mornings and evenings are chilly enough that I don’t ever feel like the sit-in-a-bucket-and-dump-icewater-on-youself type of bathing. Instead, we have monsha. It’s really a sauna. Most families have one, a building outside of the house with three compartments. The first is where you tend the fire. The fire is in a metal box built far into the wall. You put cow chips through an iron door that’s about the size of a computer monitor and set it on fire. It’s basically an enclosed fireplace in the center of a building. The fire is directly under a large barrel of water in the third room. The second room is where you undress. It always has a bench covered in a woven rug thing. The third room is the sauna. Believe me, it can get hot. You sit there and twiddle around, shave your legs, etc. Until you’ve sweatted out all body fluids. Sometimes this takes 15 minutes, sometimes it takes 15 seconds. Then, you dump cold water on yourself, which feels pretty good at this point, scrub scrub scrub your skin right off, and then use shampoo and soap. Sometimes, if you’re me, you think a bit self-consciously about why there is a clear (although warped and translucent) glass window where you’re supposed to bathe. Sure hope the neighbors don’t mind. Everyone who comes out of monsha is very red. But it’s wonderful. Host mama threw wild mint leaves in the hot water last week – mint steam. Mmmm. I had some thoughts about putting dill weed in there and smelling like a giant pickle from Sunday to Wednesday, but I’ve refrained so far.