Llamas love toilets.

Good Friday, readers! This week Random Llama is using her powers for good. It’s World Toilet Day, so let’s start gushing about flushing…

random llama

I gave myself a suggestion this week, students. Did you know today is World Toilet Day? This is a very important day in the world of llamas.

See, the llamas are an unbelievably clean species. Their standards of public hygiene are unparalleled. The bathroom is the most important room in the llama house, and the toilet is the most revered seat. Even the bathmats are woven from the finest alpaca wool…

Okay, okay, you’re right. Llamas don’t use toilets. (Can you imagine a llama with a roll of toilet paper? The little hooves! Come on!) But they do use public forums as opportunities to talk about important issues. (I’d say “soap box,” but llamas don’t use soap either. Dirty llamas.)

World Toilet Day isn’t just a special occasion set aside to celebrate going potty, cool though it may be. It’s a day to raise awareness about sanitation and clean water issues worldwide.

Here are just a few facts from the worldtoilet.org:

· 2.6 billion people worldwide live without access to proper sanitation.

· Diarrheal diseases kill five times as many children in the developing world as HIV/AIDS.

· That’s 5,000 children who die every day.

It’s hard to imagine that many people dying each day because of poor sanitation. In fact, we have trouble processing that kind of tragedy. It’s so widespread and so far away. The fancy-pants term for this is “psychic numbing”—meaning our individual capacity to care is overwhelmed in the face of large-scale suffering. It’s a coping mechanism, partially, because if we kept thinking about all the world’s ills all the time, we’d feel helpless and sad. (Wow, Random Llama. Way to not be funny this week. At all.)

But there is good news in all this, and that’s the point of World Toilet Day: it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some hopeful facts from water.org:

· Local partners are at work right now bringing clean water and proper sanitation to people all over the world from Bangladesh to Haiti to Uganda.

· Microfinance loans are helping communities to help themselves and develop sustainable solutions.

· A $25 donation can help bring one person clean water for life.

So I hope you celebrate this World Toilet Day and consider donating to an organization like water.org that is working to make life better for those 2.6 billion people. I hope you at least feel a little gratitude with every flush. Don’t do it for me; do it for the llamas.

Don’t forget (as if I’d let you!) that you can help support my half-marathon efforts to raise money for water.org. $1/mile can help make a difference for someone in the world without clean water or access to a toilet on this World Toilet Day. www.firstgiving.com/sjenkins

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