Friday, October 15, 2010

Wash by hand (or foot)

I'd forgotten how much having to wash my clothes by hand drastically reduces the number of different pieces of clothing I wear. I have waaaaaay more clothes here than I'm going to wear, simply because I don't want to wash them all every week! Sunday is my one day that I'm not in the field, so that's laundry day (unless I can find the time on Saturday). I've really got just one pair of pants that I really like to wear in the field, so I'm wearing those 6 days a week. I have two t-shirts, two long sleeved shirts, and two sports bras that each get 3 days per week. When I'm not in the field, I wear house clothes which is a skirt or pants with a t-shirt or button down shirt. I wear two outfits per day, but I re-wear each of those outfits for at least 3 days (more for the house clothes). Even re-wearing several pieces of clothing, it adds up to a few hours worth of laundry each week by the time I wash my towels and rain gear, rinse them thoroughly, and hang them out to dry.

Sometimes I walk around in the wash tub to agitate my clothes. Sometimes I do it while I shower, which just feels like great multitasking but probably isn't. Washing clothes by hand takes a long time. At least I'm able to keep my allergy to 'poison tree' at bay by washing so that I don't spread the oils around too much.


EcoGeoFemme said...

What a chore. You must be so glad to see your laundry machine when you get home from field work!

I like reading your blog to be reminded of all the luxuries I take for granted.

African Fieldworker said...

I cracked this time around and I just pay someone to do my laundry for me. I mean, it costs way less than I would be spending at a the laundrymat (spelling?) anyway, plus saves valuable time. plus, the woman who does my clothes gets them much cleaner than I manage myself.

Karina said...

EGF, my friend in the city has a washing machine so I get to wash my stuff there before I go home :-)

African Fieldworker, it is amazing how clean they get the clothes. I definitely don't get all the stains out. I just need to get the urushiols off!

The last time I was here, the woman who cooked did my laundry too, but now that there's three of us she said she can only do laundry for one person because she also cooks and cleans for another household.

African Fieldworker said...

hm, maybe you could ask her ot recommend someone to do laundry? That plant sounds nasty (it doesn't get on you during washing?). I've gotten acacia thorns straight into my foot, but that's the only bad plant things I've had in fieldwork.

Liberal Arts Lady said...

I totally multitask the showering and laundry-doing in the field by standing in the laundry bucket. I consider it a pre-wash. Although, in the field "not dusty or too smelly" = clean, so it's all in how you look at it.