Monday, April 2, 2012

Laundry day is every day!

For the women of the village, they have to go to the pump or the spring to get the water for their laundry and use a large basin that is on the ground; I at least have the luxury of running water and a large concrete sink outside the house. How does one do laundry for 5 people in Mokanji? The simple answer is that I do laundry every day. Clothes laundry gets alternated with the diaper laundry so that I do clothes laundry on the odd days and diaper laundry on the even days. This helps keep the volume down to a reasonable level.
Once I get the kids up and dressed and started on breakfast I take my bucket, dirty clothes, washboard, laundry brush, and detergent to the outside sink after turning on the water shutoff valve (There is a shutoff valve in our kitchen so that people aren’t using our sink as their water source instead of the pump.) A tablespoon of laundry detergent works well to clean a bucket of clothes or diapers. After clothes, detergent, and water are added to the bucket, my left hand/arm becomes the agitator as I mix things up and then let it soak for a few minutes. The washboard is good for clothes that are only mildly dirty (basically mine and Jeneson’s clothes) and just need a little extra scrub to get clean. Since the kids play in the dirt all day their clothes usually get double duty with both the washboard AND a good scrubbing with the laundry brush. After all the clothes are washed and put aside, I rinse out the bucket, add the clothes back in and turn on the water. They all get a little manual agitation again as a ‘rinse cycle’ before I wring them all out, put it all back in a now clean, empty bucket and take it to the front porch to hang for drying. The diaper laundry gets an extra soap ‘cycle’ and a few more rinse ‘cycles’ to make sure that all the detergents gets rinsed out.
The advantage of the dry season is that the temps are nice and warm and the humidity nice and low so that the clothes and diapers dry quite quickly. This will NOT be the case during the rainy season when it will take a day or two (or maybe even 3) for the clothes to dry out. All told, I spend about an hour total each day doing the laundry from washing the clothes to hanging, folding, and putting them away.

The biggest washing hassle I have is doing my and Jeneson’s pants and the bed sheets and bath towels. They are just a pain because of their size and are therefore more labor intensive.
Makes you really appreciate your washer and dryer and having a laundry day once a week and being able to just push some buttons and forget about it for a while!                                                                                                           One of many statements that I never imagined coming out of my mouth: "I would love a washboard Charles! You have an extra one? Thanks!"


Anonymous said...

And I complain. Wow, Sandy, that is no small task.
-Kelly H

Cindy Devore said...

elijah made the rains stop and come again, maybe you could do the same with the humidity?

Anonymous said...

This inspires me to use laundry time as my time to pray for you all. God bless!

Sue Gately

Anonymous said...

Hey there! From Northlake, IL (from the MOPS table) It is me Stefana! Great to see you out there! Wow washing those laundry clothes! My mother-in-law used to wash them in Romania, and during the winter-yikes! Plus 6 kids! (all boys!) I truly feel your heavy work out there! I will pray a blessing for you today and everyone out there! It was great seeing you!
Love and Peace,
Stefana Durcau