After finding out that I would be leaving for Albania as a Peace Corps volunteer, I started to immediately think of what I would need to pack. One of the things emphasized to me was that tampons would not be readily available.
Since day one, all I had ever used was tampons!!!
I hadn’t heard much about menstrual cups before I stumbled across The DivaCup in the feminine care aisle. I remember being grossed out at the idea of using anything other than a plastic applicator. After looking at it and contemplating the purchase for about 30 minutes, I decided to buy it. I practiced using it the month before I left and, forsaking all other feminine care products, packed it in my suitcase.
Putting that pink little Diva bag in my suitcase was one of the best packing decisions I made. Life in the Peace Corps was pretty chaotic and unpredictable. After leaving my home in the morning, I could rarely predict where the day would take me. Plans were always open to change, bus rides were always long, and finding time for trips to the bathroom required forethought. And using the bathroom was already difficult enough, believe me! Although there were some Western style toilets, it was more common to open a bathroom door and find a Turkish toilet without a square of toilet paper or trashcan in sight. No matter what feminine product a lady was to use, it was a chore to get your business done and a success if you did it without splashing urine on your shoes.
The DivaCup was amazing!
Firstly, because it reduced the number of times I had to go to the bathroom. The first day of my period, I would have to visit the (literal) squatter more than twice a day- because I have a pretty heavy flow. Other days, using The DivaCup meant I would only need to empty it twice. That was a huge stress relief.
It turned out that tampons were available, in certain cities. If you were fortunate enough to live in one of those cities, you had it made. If you didn’t, you were out of luck. With The DivaCup, I had the complete comfort of knowing I would never be caught in a bind. I also saved SO much money. Tampons were expensive when you could find them. Or outrageously expensive to have shipped over. I really began to see the economic and environmental benefits of The DivaCup play out. As an environmental advocate and a member of the Albanian Outdoor Ambassadors group, my conscience was appeased.
Since becoming hooked on The DivaCup, I’m a huge advocate for it. Besides the logical benefits, it’s a million times more comfortable than the scratchy, paper-y feel of tampons. It becomes super easy to put in and I feel more confident about my own body. It sounds super cheeseball, but it’s true! I’m not scared of my lady bits anymore (and why should I be?)! I can rely on The DivaCup to stand up to any activity I put it through. From life overseas to life in America, from wakeboarding to snowboarding, adventure to routine, climbing to biking, and everything in between; it’s passed every strenuous test I have put it through.
I encourage EVERY WOMAN to give it a try. I am a DivaCup for life. It’s the only thing I’ll ever use.
Geena is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who was fortunate to spend that time in the beautiful and unique country of Albania (2012-2014). She now lives in Denver, Colorado and is a graduate student studying to work with issues of homelessness and gender equality. She loves all things adventure, outdoors, and active. She is an Ultimate player, loves to rock climb, and dabbles in just about every other sport. She aspires to collect experiences in rocking chairs, stamp-collecting, and tea-drinking. Albania, Iceland, and Croatia are some of her favorite places to travel to and talk about.