We Love to Clean

Cleaning is always an adventure here in Uganda.

Fortunately the kids LOVE to clean.  The other morning when I was at home for the day watching Carol, Don, and Emma, they had the genius idea to clean all the shoes!  Then I had the brilliant idea to “find” another pair of shoes that needed cleaning.  MINE!  Carol and Don eagerly each took a shoe and scrubbed off all the red Ugandan dirt.  Thanks kids!

On the other hand, the kids aren’t always around to do my chores for me.

At our ministry sites we often helped out with cleaning… laundry, mopping, dishes… really whatever they needed.

We had the chance to go back to Elizabeth House and we spent the morning cleaning and the afternoon with the kids.

First, Taylor, Allie, and I mopped the main classroom space.  It was the most ridiculous mopping experience of my life.  I think I’ve told you about how we mop here in Uganda?  First you pour water from a bucket or a jerry can all over the floor.  Then you scrub it with a scrubbing brush mop thing.  Then you squeegee the water to the next spot, and then you might dry it off with a third mop or a towel or something.  I was on squeegee duty, and it is a huge room, so I would work really hard to get the water squeegeed out of each area and then out the door.  There were always at least two of us working on this.  Then, when we would get the room looking pretty dry, one of the staff would come and pour water all over the floor and flood the whole room again.  WHAT?  WHY?  After all my work??  So we would begin the squeegeeing again.  And then they’d flood the room just when we thought we were done.  This happened at least 4 times.  Probably closer to 22.  It was comical.  In retrospect it totally makes sense because they don’t want soap residue on the floor, so they need to rinse it somehow.  But at the time our hearts were just filled with melodramatic “NOOOOO”s.

killer turkey.

We also did the dishes after lunch.  When we do dishes in Uganda, there is one sink or bucket or basin or something filled with soapy water.  One with just plain water to dip the dish in and rinse it after being washed, and then a drying rack.  We had SO many dishes to wash, but with eight of us on the job, it went pretty quickly.  The only time that was mildly traumatizing was when one of the turkeys decided that it was hungry and meandered over to the dirty dishes and peck posho out of the bowls.  It turns out it just wanted to eat leftovers.  But we were all terrified that it was going to decide posho wasn’t good enough and that a mzungo would taste better.  I was glad that there were several dish washers and basins of water between the turkey and me.  That is the only reason I could keep my cool to take pictures of this terrifying situation.

The moral of the story: cleaning is scary.    I shall do my best to avoid it in the future.

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