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Favorite Chores

There are a lot of chores I don't like: dusting or doing dishes for example. In fact, I'm rather indifferent about most housework. I do it because it needs to be done, but I neither love it nor hate it. But there is one chore I actually enjoy and it is doing laundry. I know, I know, all that hot Nigerien sun has given me brain damage.

I get more of a feeling of accomplishment from doing laundry than I do from my other chores. The day starts with piles of rumpled, dirty, smelly clothes and ends with neatly folded piles of sweet smelling wearable clothes. I love standing out in the sunshine, watching the squirrels scampering through the nearby leaves, seeing the trees budding out, and hearing the birds calling back and forth. I like organizing the clothes on the line: shirts together with towels and then trousers and shorts together, and socks and other small things in one place. I stop often to sniff the fresh aroma of the fabric softener. Often I'll pray as I hang the things on the line. Then I stand back and enjoy the colorful array of drying clothes blowing in the breeze.

It's a lot different in Niger where I don't have a machine. I hire a lady to do it by hand and hang the clothes on the line. She doesn't hang them quite like I would, but she gets the job done! She washes with a hard, brown bar soap. It works effectively, but doesn't smell as sweetly as American soap. Sometimes there is so much dust in the air one wonders if the clothes are much cleaner than before they were washed! Here is my friend washing and hanging my clothes in Niger. She also does the ironing for me. Wow! That's a relief....another of my not so favorite chores. I think she enjoys ironing because it's a man's job in Niger (hey...maybe we could get that to catch on here). It gives her a certain feeling of pride and accomplishment to do a job that most women don't know how to do.

Well, I guess I'll go look for some clothes to wash.....! :)