Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Laundry Room

Hey guys. Sorry it’s been so long since my last update- I’ve been busy travelling. I’ve seen like 6 tourist sites for free in the past two days. Awesome but exhausting.

But anyway I figured that now that you are all clean from your bucket shower- I should teach you how to wash your clothes.

First gather all your dirty clothes, aka all your clothes, and put on your least dirty thing. Put them in a bucket for safe keeping.

Now that you’ve gathered your clothing go get some water. Get three more buckets- no you can’t use the one your clothes are in- and fill them with “clean” water, clean here being least amount of bugs floating in it and the closest to clear.

Anyway carry your buckets of water to an outside grassy area. It doesn’t necessarily have to be grassy- I just enjoy the feeling of the sun and grass while I clean- but it does have to be outside because water gets everywhere and water on your concrete floor is very unpleasant.

So line all your buckets together in a line to maximize efficiency and dump your clothes out at one end of the line. Take your now empty bucket and put it on the end of the line opposite your clothes.

Now before you start washing make sure you get distracted by some kids needing a quick talk or you say hello to at least five other women washing. I’m not sure if this part is crucial but I’ve never washed without having it happen.

Now walk back across your compound because you forgot your bar of soap in your room. Again. Chat with a few more teachers during this part.

So now that you have walked back to your clothing and water the washing can begin. Take a few articles of clothing, I usually start with three, and put them in the first bucket of water and start scrubbing. Rub the bar of soap into the clothing. After you have gotten soap all over the article of clothing fold it in half and rub it against itself. This makes sure the soap really gets in there. Keep the bar of soap in the water. It will make it extra sudsy which helps clean.

Now what I choose to do is soap up as much clothing as I can before moving on to step two but if you want to do this one piece of clothing at a time go ahead. Whatever floats your boat. You probably don’t have that much clothing anyway.

So after you have gotten the soap in there deep- and I mean you put soap into the pockets deep- wring the clothes out and put it into the next bucket. This is the first rinse. After you have moved all the clothing from bucket A to bucket B repeat this step only move the clothes to bucket C. I know it’s tempting to skip bucket C but if you do the soap won’t come completely off and your clothes will get scummy.

So after the second rinse put all your clothes into the original and now empty bucket. Make sure you wring the clothes out before moving on to this step though or else it will be too heavy to carry.

Now walk across the compound to hang your clothes up to dry. Just get over your embarrassment of having your bra and panties hanging out to dry next to the boys dorm. They don’t really care. Except for the two of them who you are pretty sure are trying to spot you changing and that’s why they are always near your window. Don’t be alarmed by those boys though- they are 15 you can take them.

Now you will have discovered your legs are COVERED in mud so walk back to the clean water to wash of your legs.

FUN TIP- shave your legs right now. It will make you feel cleaner and it will make showering in the freezing night much quicker and more pleasant. Why should you bother shaving your legs you ask? Because you’re an American and eventually you will at one point look down and feel disgusted with your legs if you don’t.

Anyway leave your clothes out to dry and pray it doesn’t rain. It’s pretty much impossible to predict weather out here so all you can hope is that it won’t storm. If you start to notice a drizzle run to get your clothes IMMEDIATELY because you have 10 minutes AT MOST before it is going to pour.

Congratulations! You have now washed your clothing! Now go wash the floor.

But before you rush off to wash your clothes the good ‘ole African way let me update you on the goings on around here.

I mentioned that I’d been traveling the past two days, I thought I could tell you guys the highlights of the trip.

On day one we left the compound at 4 am and went to Nairobi, a five hour drive, starting with the airport. The kids were ecstatic to see the planes- most of them had never seen one and were practically salivating when they went inside. During this part I stayed behind at an outdoor airport café where I smoked a pack of cigarettes and sucked down two lattes.

Interestingly enough I was joined by a man named Peter who works for the EU and is travelling around Africa to hand out money to worthy causes. So I might have done a little bit of networking there. He also bought me a latte. Yesssssss

Then we had another hours drive out to the Nairobi Museum/ snake park where I argued with Father Patrick about evolution. Then we had another hours drive to an animal orphanage where I touched a cheetah and then we drove another half hour to- and this was the best part- A SUPERMAKRET. I literally bought 3 tubs of peanut butter. I would have bought more but I thought that would make me look a little insane. I also bought some chocolate and shampoo etc. it was actually kind of hard to shop though, even though I’ve only been here a month the city made me feel suffocated and the supermarket was beyond overwhelming. When I realized how many choices I had in the potato chip aisle I felt a little bit like crying.

Anyway then we drove 6 hours home and arrived on the compound around midnight. Luckily I was able to have a very nice three hour nap before we were off again.

This time we drove 7 hours to this national park Bolgoria. There we got to see flamingos and springs so hot that we could boil eggs in them. Which we did and then promptly ate for breakfast/lunch. This is where it was discovered I won’t eat the yolk of a boiled egg causing people to fight over who got to sit next to me and eat my yolks.

From there we went to Lake Nakuru, another 4 hour drive, which was awesome. Nakuru is an animal preserve you can drive around and take pictures. I was particularly delighted by the giraffe (pictures on the way).

After that another supermarket and then we could finally go home. This time we were in bed around two.

Anyway I am still tired and thus am going back to sleep. I love and miss you all.

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