Manasa Lamba

            Today was the first time I was able to do laundry in 2 ½ weeks.  We were on Tech Trip for a week and then when we got back it started raining and it has been raining ever since.  Today was the first day that it has not rained since then.  This is a really long time not to wash clothes seeing that I did not bring that many clothes to this country.  Dirty has taken on a very different definition here Madagascar.  Most things get worn multiple times before they are considered ‘dirty’ and ‘dirty’ really only means that they are visibly dirty and/or fail the smell test.  You also can not just wash your clothes when ever you want to.  Here in Madagascar we have to wash our clothes by hand.  This
takes a fairly long time.  To do this we have to go fetch enough water to wash your clothes in and rinse them at least three times. Since I do not have enough containers to hold water I end up having to make multiple trips to the well during the different stages of washing.  Once you have your water you put it into a big plastic basin and add your laundry detergent.  Once you have your soap mixed up, you add what clothes you can fit and begin to churn the clothes by hand.  You then have to take use a brush to scrub off the mud that is inevitably on your clothes.  This washing process ends up only being the scrubbing of ‘essential’ areas to save time; mud spots, armpits of shirts, ext.  Once the clothes are clean you then have to put them into a new basin with new water and churn them to rinse out the soap.  You then have to do this a few more times till the all of the soap is out of your clothes.  After the clothes are sufficiently rinsed you then have to hang them on a line to dry.  This is the reason why I was unable to wash clothes till now.  Since it was raining I could not hang my clothes to dry.  Even though it was not raining it was not exactly hot and sunny, which means even though I was able to wash clothes today they were not able to dry all the way.  This means that I had to take them inside this evening for two reasons.  One, everything gets wet at night even inside the house.  Two, it usually rains at night so the clothes had to be hung on the furniture inside my room.  

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