Continental Drift

November 20, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — unaleona @ 4:36 pm

down the street from the bureau

Mali is dusty and hot and pretty much no one has a laundry machine, therefore people spend a lot of time doing laundry.  There are skills involved in the art of doing laundry by hand, a certain angle of the wrist, a certain rubbing technique, the perfect way of creating the most suds.  Luckily, it is a skill that I haven’t been required to aquire, because it is possible to pay someone to do your laundry for about 75 cents.  Unfair luxury, I know, but the washing machine in my house in Providence cost $1.25 a load, so I’ve decided to shell out.  The only thing is, you obviously can’t give your underwear to anyone else to wash because you wouldn’t want them to put a hex on it.

This means that every week or so, I take my shower bucket and fill it with water and powdered washing soap, and attempt to properly wash my own underwear. This isn’t exactly something that I’ve never done before, but somehow, it is much more challenging here.  In addition to the (lack of) running water issues, everyone is around to watch and laugh when I exhibit my lack of skills.  The first time, five year old Tata pitied me enough to lend a hand and her wrist wringing motions were far superior to mine.  Then Papa spilled half a bottle of blue dish soap into my rinse bucket…

I am left with great respect for everyone who does their laundry, seemingly so effortlessly, like the young woman in this picture.  But I will probably keep paying someone to do mine. Maybe I’ll even get over my fear of hexes.


1 Comment »

  1. This photo of the laundress is definitely one of your “gems” and your capture of it should be cause for at least a brief upswing on the emotional roller coaster known as your Mali – MHOP experience!

    Comment by UK — November 22, 2009 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

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