When we are in Uganda the normal way to have your laundry done is to leave your clothes out on the bed and the housekeeping staff pick it up, wash it, and then leave it for you at the end of the day, when possible. The way they do laundry is all by hand with a pail of water and soap, and then they hang it out to dry. If we have a dry day with sun, the clothing dries really fast. But now it is rainy season in Uganda so most days it rains at least some of the day. If your laundry is hanging out when the rain starts, you probably won’t get it back that night. So…on Monday I left some clothes out to be washed but at the end of the day, I still had dirty clothes. It turns out that on Mondays they wash the sheets so they don’t do personal laundry. So on Tuesday I left my clothes out again and sure enough they were clean and nicely folded when I got back from the clinic. But, the boys clothes were forgotten and didn’t get cleaned. Since they were running really low on clean clothing this was somewhat disturbing to them. I decided to share my bill with them because it was more than I anticipated. Upon seeing that, the guys decided that maybe they could try washing their clothes by hand. I had brought laundry detergent and had a bucket in my room so I shared these and off they went.
I was careful to make sure they knew to use the soap sparingly and it was a good thing I did because they both thought they would have used a cup or more and I had let them know that only a tablespoon or 2 would be more than plenty for the amount of clothes. At dinner tonight we laughed a lot about their escapades. I really wish we could have videotaped it; I’m sure it would have been quite funny. They both agreed it was not so easy and Nikko said his arms hurt from wringing out all of the clothes. So now they have clothes hanging up all over their room but at least they saved about $20 each. It doesn’t sound like much but here in Uganda, that would buy 2 really nice dinners each. Now at least they can say they learned something on this trip- how to do laundry by hand. 🙂