Thursday, January 10, 2013

Housekeeping in Haiti: Laundry

I really don't know of one single person who is like, "Yay, I love laundry!"  I do enjoy having clean clothes, and don't really mind throwing a load in the washer, it's all the other stuff that comes after that, that really makes doing laundry a real pain in the keester.

November 4- December 17, 2012 changed all that for me.  I have a new appreciation for laundry, specifically washing machines.  We spent those first days in our new home handwashing all of our clothes.  I won't go into details, but coming into such close contact with clothing that has been soiled by a toddler, or child who consistently fails at wiping themselves in a thorough manner, is just plain gross. Couple that with the fact that we had to pump all of the water for washing in buckets by hand from the well, it was quite the task.  Washing one typical load, would take about an hour and a half, from start to finish, working the whole time.  

I'll come clean right now and tell you Gary did 9/13ths of all the handwashing.  He was a pro.

On that glorious day in December, when we got the plumbing for our washing machine done, it all changed, and I will never ever take doing laundry with a machine for granted.

 After a few extra steps at the beginning, doing laundry isn't much different.

 This was built as a Haitian kitchen.  When he lived here, the owner's wife did all of the cooking in this room.  There is only a sink and counter.  The ceiling is blackened from smoke, from the charcoal fire for cooking.

First, I have to unlock the laundry room.  It isn't attached to the house, and we're high security round these parts.  Next, I put a hose in the washer and then go back outside to open the faucet for the hose.  Then I turn on the pump, and fill the washer.  Because of this step, we can only do laundry when we have EDH (city power).  Our water pump will only work when we have EDH, and the washing machine takes so much energy that even if it was already filled with water when the power goes off, we can't run it when we're using inverter batteries.

After that, it's pretty much business as usual.  Of course we hang our wash on the line to dry.
Next week, I'll take you grocery shopping with us.  Be excited.

**Learning to live in Haiti has taken some pretty major adjustments, as you can imagine.  Just living in Haiti seems to be a full time job in itself.  I know that before I moved here, I wondered how we would do the simple things we did in the States.  This is the second in a series of blog posts where I want to document how we do the basic house stuff in Haiti and share with those who are curious how we do things around here.  As a disclaimer, we're living a pretty Americanized version of Haitian living.  The majority of Haitians living here do not live the way we do, a fact that I am equally blessed by and ashamed of.**

Click here for Part One


Natalie Jane said...

I am excited!!!!

Patricia Lindsay said...

Hello Krulls! I sent an email with some of my tips for living with no/little power/water to this address, as it was too long to post. Feel free to share anything you think is useful. Thanks for sharing!

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