Monday, September 9, 2013

Laundry...simple word but oh so complicated in Dominica

This is another reason why I appreciate the US of A so much more now. We can do our laundry in one huge load...and if we needed to we can break it up into 2 smaller loads and it wouldn't make much of a difference...especially in paying for electricity.

 Back in the States I was horrible at doing laundry. I was so bad at remembering to take the clothes out after they'd been washed. So after our clothes were in the washer for hours or even sometimes a few days it would smell like stinky rags. When the clothes finally made it to the dryer they would sit in the dryer for DAYS. I was so bad about remembering to take it out of the dryer to fold and hang up. So by the time our clothes were "washed" they were stinky like dirty rags and wrinkled like crazy to the point where I just needed to re-wash them. But after doing our own laundry here in Dominica....I have vowed that when I get back to the States...I will do my laundry right! All in one day and within a few hours.

 Last semester we had other people do our laundry. It was HEAVEN for me. They would come pick up your dirty clothes at your door, take it, clean it, and then that night they would come back with a bag full of clean, heavenly smelling laundry that was professionally folded. It was amazing! But the only bad thing was that we have so much laundry between the 5 of us that it got pretty costly. I would say a big old bag of stinky clothes came out to be about 65-85 EC. Eeks. personally I think it's worth it, but Fi Dan thought it was a ridiculous amount of money. SIGH....So we decided to buy a washer and dryer from some 4th semesters that were leaving the island. When we bought the washer and dryer, I didn't realize the many challenges that could come from washing your clothes here in Dominica.

First...the washer. You've gotta hook the washer up to the sink...and then make sure that the little water hose stays in the sink so that when the dirty water drains it gets into the sink and not ALL over the floor. Yes...I've walked into the bathroom where we keep our washer and the floor is wet with dirty water. Gross. Then you have to remember to turn on the switch every time you wash and after you wash. AND you can't forget to use a transformer plug thingy otherwise you will blow out the electricity.
Next...drying. So the weather here in Dominica is unpredictable. It's a beautiful morning...and then it's the middle of winter with rainstorms and gushy winds. So when I hang dry our clothes it's always a gamble. I'm always praying the weather will be stable and not bipolar. If I see huge thunderclouds coming our way, I have to hang dry our clothes around our house. I've discovered that doesn't work too well because it takes 2 days for them to dry and then they smell. And then you have to take the humidity into account too. It takes longer to dry. We have our dryer but we've heard that it eats up a lot of electricity so we try not to use it but Fi Dan's clothes were just too stinky. Not to say that he's stinky person, but for some reason his clothes just smell if we sundry them. So just for Fi Dan, we use our dryer.

No, I'm not complaining because I am super grateful that we have a washer and I don't have to go to the river and hand wash our clothes...but man I had it good in the US and didn't even know it!

Anyhow...that's our laundry process here in Dominica. So the next time you go to your nice huge, energy efficient washer and dryer and you're feeling like it takes too long...just think of little old me here in Dominica! :D

The dryer.

The transformer. Don't be fooled by the size, it weights at least 50 pounds. Ok...maybe like 30 but I have to carry it back and forth from the kitchen so that we can use it for our microwave too!

Our tiny washer. :)'s a rainy day in Picard, Dominica.

More clothes!


  1. LOL! That's so funny! (i'm laughing becuase I HAD TO DO THIS ON My mission in THAILAND and Korea!) I flooded my mission aparmtne a few times, luckily nothing important was in the house, as in our washer was outside the bathroom, and our tube was supposed to be thrown in the bathroom floor, but sometimes i'd just run it without remember to put the tube in the bathroom, and the whole aparment flooded. lol. take pictures of your flood; you'll appreciate and laugh in years to come. But kalia, what I felt helpful, and I think you mentioned you had this, when i had to dry my clothes inside the house, i had a fan blowing my clothes, that helped it dry sooner, and we had a clothes rack, like to bars and then it rolled around. or i bought the ones that looked like a rack in the oven, but folds out. yup, yup, you appreciate softner and dryer sheets too. ;/ yup. no worries, you're only in dominica for a while. gotta do what they do. enjoy. :D

  2. Yup! What your friend said! It's a mission story classic!! Washing clothes... sigh... How I do not miss it! lol