Friday, April 10, 2009

friday is laundry day

In Peace Corps, we have the same weekly chores as we did in America, but none of the modern conveniences. Therefore, around once a week, I carry my clothes and a couple buckets to my outdoor sink and soap up. I start by soaking them in a detergent (I use the brand Blu). I swish them around in the water for a minute, then pull each piece out and wash them by hand. Hand washing means rubbing a lard soap into the tough spots, then forcefully pushing the cloth down your forearm. The work of laundry is mostly wringing out the soapy water to eventually rinse clothes clean. I usually use two rinse buckets, refilling them periodically to clear the water. After a few rinses and a final wringing, I hang the clothes on the line to dry. This process is rough, and some of my clothes have started to show wear from it. During dry season everything dried fast, but now I have to time laundry day to coincide with a sun break.

I actually think of laundry as a more enjoyable chore here, even though in the developed world it’s hardly as much work. I bring my ipod and speakers out with me. I wear my swimsuit and sunscreen and “play” in the water. (I only get away with this because my backyard is walled in). It’s time consuming, but no one in Africa is ever in a hurry. Once finished, I feel much more accomplished than I ever felt after loading a machine and pushing the buttons.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I was just surfing on your blog and thought I should introduce myself. I am steve, I am an engineer currently working in yaounde Cameroon. I graduated in the USA before going back home over 7 years ago. I see you are in Cameroon as well, What do you do and I hope you are enjoying the country.

    Yours sincerely,

    Steve T.
    phone: +237 75 29 99 09