In camp, we put our clothes into these giant yellow bags, and all clothes are washed together - in hot water and hot dryer - and then ironed on the hottest setting. This results in most of my clothes being grey, destroyed, or left with iron marks on them.
In the village - it's the same thing. Except it's just one person doing our laundry day after day.
Last March, most of my clothes had been destroyed - I had just had enough to wear a full week of different outfits and that was it. I spent most of my time in Canada searching stores like Old Navy, Superstore, Walmart, etc - for clothes that looked half decent, but that when ruined, wouldn't make me cry or scream out loud.
Since then, I hide all of the clothes that I really like. But the housekeeper finds them sometimes. And washes them, and then they are most likely destroyed.
We have contacted the cleaning company, we have written notes to the housekeeper....but nothing works. Today, after Louis found his dark grey shirt somehow turned to a light coral and his eighth work out shirt scorched from the iron, I asked an employee to translate a note for me. (Housekeeper doesn't fluenty speak French or English).
English version is this:
Thank you for all the hard work that you do at our house.
We have a few requests:
- Please NEVER iron ANYTHING black or grey. It can just be folded once it comes out of the dryer.
- NEVER use anything but the detergent that we have provided. Two capfuls per load of laundry is sufficicent
- NEVER use bleach when washing ANY clothing.
- If clothing is not in the hamper, please do not wash it
(Anything we have that's black or grey is workout wear that gets melted when ironed on hot.)
To illustrate, why I have a bit of a hard time picking up the language, here's the translated version:
Misaotra anareo amin’ny asa mafy nataonareo ato aminay.
Misy zavatra mba angatahanay kely ireto :
- Azafady AZA PASOHANA MIHITSY raha vao lamba mainty na gris. Afaka avalona fotsiny rehefa avy ao anatin’ilay fanamainana lamba.
- AZA MAMPIASA savony na ranon-tsavony hafa ankoatran’izay omenay ihany. In-droa ny saron’ilay tavoahangy isaky ny manasa ihany dia efa ampy atao amin’ny masinina.
- AZA MAMPIASA eau de javel rehefa manasa lamba.
- Aza sasana ny lamba izay tsy ao anaty panier.
I'll print it for her tomorrow...and leave some candy or some money. I don't want to offend her....because she's trying her best...and doesn't know any better....but after ironing say - five black workout shirts in a row and melting them all....you think you'd learn? Again - mistake #1 - do not apply logic here.
She also likes to rearrange things in our house every....second day or so to make it look pretty. That's awesome, except if you ever want to find anything. Maybe we'll address that with another note, after Project Laundry has been implemented and successful.
If the note doesn't work, Grandpa, make you can come out and offer some "How-to" courses in laundry? :-)