Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Laundry Lessons

Part of the definition of culture shock is that the tasks you were good at in America, and found easy to complete, are now tasks that you feel completely in-ept doing. Laundry, for example, is one of those tasks. I actually delayed doing laundry, despite the growing mountain of dirty clothes, because I wasn't sure how to "do laundry" in Nicaragua. Okay, here is what is pitiful...the house has a washer and dryer. That sounds normal...but it doesn't feel like it. So fine, put detergent in washer, turn on water, add clothes...let the washer do its magic! Clothes are washed. Now they need to dry (since the dryer runs on a gas tank that we would have to replace...we decided to hang the laundry to dry.) Culture Shock. Okay, fine. Hang the laundry. Did you know that humidity effects drying time. Oh, and it rains almost everyday right now. [When I was awakended by the sound of a tropical downpour at 3am the other night, the first thing I thought was, "AHHH, my clean laundry is drying on the clothes wire."] Yes, that's the other thing--the clothes wire. The clothes line is made of wire, parts of which are rusted--that happens in this type of climate. Culture Shock. Okay, think Bethany. I see plastic clothes hangers. Yes, hang the clothes on plastic clothes hangers and then hang them on the wire. Okay, that works. But what about underwear? Is it culturally acceptable to hang your underwear out to dry? I don't know...but I put it out there anyway. Culture Shock. Yup, culture shock...the hurdle that stands in the way of simple tasks like laundry, dish washing, cooking (okay, this one was hard for me in America...but I can blame culture shock now.)