Since I had such a great response from the last routine post I wrote I thought I’d describe how we do laundry here. As exciting as it is, ha, and since I know you all are dying to get rid of all your washers and dryers and get little blisters on the outsides of your fingers and knuckles to match mine:)
1 – The weather has to be just right. You don’t really think about the weather being associated with laundry day, but here in Africa, it is necessary to have at least a few hours of no rain.
2 – Now, go grab your laundry buckets, your detergent, and gloves for you amateurs who haven’t built up your callouses yet:)
3 – Fill your large bucket with water about 3/4 full and add your detergent. We have a foot spicket in our shower so we use that to fill our laundry buckets. We don’t have hot water, so don’t bother waiting for it to come out warm. Cold will work just fine!
4 – Bring your bucket outside to your “laundry room”. We just use the ledge under our windows outside of the hut.
5 – You need to choose which method you are going to use…the 2-bucket method or the 3-bucket method. The 2-bucket method is the one we use because we have…2 buckets. If you have 3 buckets it can save you a little time, but it isn’t necessary.
6 – It is now time to fill your second bucket with water and place it next to your other bucket with the detergent.
7 – Now, get to washing! If you saw the little video from the beginning of our journey, you will remember David showing me how to place one elbow on my thigh while scrubbing with the palms and outside of your fists. Your own hands will act as the swishing mechanism in your washing machine to get the loose dirt off.
8 – After you are satisfied with your clean piece of laundry you can wring it out and throw it in your other bucket to rinse.
9 – Continue this cycle, one article of clothing at a time until your rinsing bucket is full.
10 – It’s time to do your “final rinse”. Stick those hands in your water bucket and swish the clean clothes around to get the excess soap off of them. Then wring them out one at a time. ***NOTE***the better you wring out your clothes, the quicker they will dry on the line! Yes, this may cause blisters as well:)
11 – If you have a third bucket it will be your dry bucket. It is used to put your rinsed clothes in after you have rung them out so you can carry a large load over to the clothes line to dry them.
12 – If you only have 2 buckets, like us, you can just use your window ledge to stack them on until you have an arm load to carry over to the clothes line to hang up to dry.
13 – You will probably need to carry your buckets over to the water ledge to dump your dirty water out and start the whole cycle over again to get clean water in your buckets. You can gauge your water by sticking your hands in. If you can’t see them under the water, it’s time to change the water;)
14 – Now, if your clothes happen to be on the line and it starts to rain, you can either run out and gather your clothes, which will already be drenched, because it is the rainy season, OR you can just count your blessings and consider the rain as an extra “rinse cycle” and wait until the next morning to gather your sparkling clean laundry!
15 – If you are lucky, you will have little fairies, ahem, laundry staff from the guesthouse, come behind you to inspect your finished product and if it doesn’t meet their superb requirements they will secretly whisk it off, with a cute little giggle, to re-wash it and place it back on the line without you even knowing it:)
So, there you have it folks…another task to take up some time while you wait…