Sunday, April 25, 2010


It seems like I've been doing nothing but laundry lately. Especially with Ian being out of comission, that means I get to take back the folding and putting away aspect of it in addition to the washing part. I do a load of laundry every night, and several on the weekends. What can I say - 5 people live here, three of whom wear uniforms M-F.

Anyway, I was feeling sorry for myself (!) and got to thinking about how happy I was to see the washing maching the day after I got home from my trip to Uganda in 2005. I was so thrilled to see the washer and dryer I almost cried. (I did cry from sheer joy during my first shower once I was home, LOL, it was heavenly!)

Here's the backstory:

My parents had gone to Uganda in 2001 and came back with lots of great stories. When I decided to go with them in 2005, they told me a bit about what to expect. Here's what they said about the laundry: My parents stayed at the Archbishop's house. The nuns did their laundry and ironed everything - even their socks and underwear! I wasn't too sure how I felt about having my underwear ironed, but was glad I wouldn't have to worry about clean clothes. All I brought with me in that respect was a bottle of Woolite for my "unmentionables". The thing is, though, that for this trip we didn't stay with the Archbishop (which was okay because we did more stuff than we would have been able to do, and got to stay out after dark - yay!) So, because I didn't want the nuns to have to do my laundry, I asked where the laundry room was and I would do my own. She took us to a little room on the side and opened the door - to a water spigot and a bucket. Oooookayyyyyy. I was afraid if I asked where the iron was, she'd show us a rock and a fire, so I left that one alone. So, this is how I did my laundry:

Yup - that's my shower. And I'm washing my pajamas. Everything got covered in red clay-like dust, so I did a lot of laundry. I couldn't get the red out of my clothes, no matter how hard I scrubbed, so I asked the laundry ladies one morning what I could do. Their answer: Scrub harder.

I did figure out they were using something called Oxo, which, once I'd cleaned my shoes with it, realized it's an awesome soap (I think it's got lye in it?) so once I bought a bag and started using it on my laundry instead of the Woolite things got better, LOL.

And here I'm hanging up my laundry - the ladies were so kind and let me use a line to dry (I had been hanging them over my suitcase and chairs, but the red dirt was all over my luggage, which kind of negated my washing the clothes.
So yes, when I got home I almost kissed my washing machine. Oh, how happy I was! It really is all a matter of perspective.

Just for added LOLs, here's a pic of the sitting area of my room. To dry my clothes I would lay my suitcases out and hang clothes over them, as well as the chair and the table. Note the bottles of Diet Coke on the table. I knew there would be no Diet Coke in Uganda (I was right, btw), so I packed two 16 oz bottles for every day we would be there. THAT's why I didn't have a ton of clothes, LOL, my suitcase was full of Diet Coke! (I told you I was addicted - didn't you believe me?) Oh, and I did buy a bottle of "Coke Light" at the airport in Belgium.


Hannah said...

I love this!! Even something as terrible as laundry can ALWAYS be worse. <3 the pictures too.

Anonymous said...

I remember when we moved from the apartment to our house and I PROMISED I wouldn't complain about having to laundry since I didn't have to go to the laundry area in the complex anymore, because the washer & dryer were in my garage. Everytime I want to complain, I remember that promise. Auntie M

Louisiana Rose said...

You had a shower in Uganda!!!! You just didnt have enough water pressure for the water to come out!! LOL.

You should post the picture of your before and after shoes.

Cecile said...

Wow Patt, that is an awesome story!! And yes, agreeing with Hannah ~ love the pictures!!! Thanks for the post hon!!! Hope you had a great weekend!

H1 said...

"I couldn't get the red out of my clothes, no matter how hard I scrubbed, so I asked the laundry ladies one morning what I could do. Their answer: Scrub harder." Oh my God you had me rollin on that one!