Saturday, 28 May 2016

Hand-washing; byChrissie

Leech- very little one

7:50am: Went down under the house, it’s concrete and coral stones, spiders, crabs, slaters, the occasional leech and lots of flies and mozzies, Fill two tubs from the tap, one washing powder one rinse water with fabric softener to take away horrid musty smell, works well, a good piece of local know how!!  
Sort washing into piles, most soiled down to least. Put first least soiled  pile in wash tub, crouch down as its only ankle height, start scrubbing just with my hands or sometimes a coral rock, my knuckles have calluses, once scrubbed, wring lightly back into tub and put item into rinse bucket, finish pile, get cramp in my calves or thighs, swish them around in rinse tub, wring each piece well and place in washing basket, put next pile in wash tub, push under, take washing basket up the stairs to the washing lines, wring each item again and hang up, head back down with empty basket and repeat process, with 7 of us sometimes there is four or five piles, today I had sheets and pillowcases off 3 beds as well as normal washing so a wee bit to do, Rainy sits up above me on the concrete porch chatting, sometimes leaning down to check where I’m up to, today there’s 4 piles so I finish them stopping after two piles to empty and refill both tubs as they are a disgusting brown, finish last load, empty dirty water, pull leech off the bottom of the tub (so I can get a photo, but realised Matt has the camera to get some photos of the lovely new church, He has done some work on) so will get a photo another day. Yay done, come inside much to Rainy’s delightJ ready to play Lego with Mum, its 8:45am and I’m so hot!! 

It’s a real work out….makes me really appreciate my washing machine back homeJ But a great experience and how the majority of people here do their washing, every day. So good to be able to just be a member of the village going about the normal morning tasks.  Time for a coffeeJ We don’t have a tap or any inside plumbing so Matt fills two water cooler containers (what most people have, don’t know where they are from but handy for collecting water, so Matt fills them from the outside tap under the house every morning and they sit on our kitchen floor. So I lift one, they are really heavy I think I must be getting more muscle in my arms especially, and fill the jug, yay hot drink time, even in the heat we have just as many hot drinks as at home, such a habitJ

It’s 31 degrees inside now so still pretty cool this morning, which is nice, no fans needed, (we are adjusting) So just having a coffee and writing this, Rainy having a hot choc, emptied the rest of the boiled jug into a big teapot to cool so we can fill water bottles for drinking, we have to boil all our drinking water, you can buy bottled water at the shop but we prefer to just boil and cool, just can’t adjust to paying for water plus heaps of plastic waste and no recycling here.

NB: This is in no way a complaint but just an acknowledgement of the hard work it is to hand wash, especially I think of women in past generations and those in the world today who have to travel long distances in the heat to get water before any of the basic jobs like washing can even be started.

Also apologies for a fairly mundane post but this blog is a great way for us to remember some of these small everyday experiances that will fade with time, as well as the amazing rich ones that we will carry with us always. Chrissie

This guy is tiny but you get the gist.

Set up and ready to go, metal tub to scrub, white for rinsing.

Piles sorted- first two piles school uniforms.

Rainy hanging out, the ledge above him with the shoes on it is where he often sits and chats down to me.

Rainy and his friend watching

Scrub Scrub Scrub...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Chrissie, have the kids worked out the fun ways to kill leeches? Salt is awesome. Especially just after they've had a feed, you can watch the white salt turn red. I'm pretty impressed that you can do four piles in one hour! I appreciate your mindful awareness of the task as something you can't wait to be over while at the same time being a valuable experience and solidarity that you will look back on!