Saturday, January 21, 2012
I had asked my host mom if she knew of anyone who would be interested in working for us to wash our laundry and she said she would ask around. I preferred going through her because this helped ensure that the person would be trustworthy. She told me a few days ago that a cousin (or something, some sort of family relation) who I remembered from when I lived here was interested in working for us. I got her number and we arranged for her to come by my house the next afternoon. The next afternoon she never showed so I called and nobody answered. I have been here long enough to understand that I should start looking for someone else. I finally heard from her a few days later and she explained that her husband had told her she couldn’t work for us but she had found someone else, so she would bring her by the next day. So today my host mom, this familial relation and the woman she recommended stopped by. I brought chairs out into the yard so we could sit in the shade and I offered them cold water. But things like this still terrify because I am certain I am going to mortally offend someone without even knowing it, since I am still such a stranger to their customs and don’t know how I should behave as a hostess in this situation. The good news is that this woman agreed to wash our laundry for us. Anyone doubting why Peace Corps Volunteers need to hire someone to do their laundry must understand that in countries like this where labor is so cheap and money is so scarce, people with salaries like us are expected to contribute to the community by spreading this money around in ways such as this. Also, try washing bed sheets or denim jeans by hand sometime.