Friday, September 05, 2014

Family news

Lolo is feeling better, but not getting out much due to wheezing (it's cloudy out and a lot of people are here asking for help paying for medicine for wheezing kids).

 I keep the aircon on all the time, on "fan" to filter the air when it's cool outside, and that helps.

 The "drier" motor died yesterday. Here, washing is done by hand by most folks but we have a wash machine. However, washer's here don't have a "spin" cycle, so you have to buy another machine, a "drier", that spins. The help comes and goes so quickly here that the new help tends to overload and the belts break and finally the motors burn out. Our laundry is done on the roof, the better to dry the clothing in the wind. 

The last time the washer died, I bought a new washer  for Leila to do our laundry downstairs.

She is our cook's daughter, and cleans the room and does the laundry for us two days a week. The good news is that she is "family", like the cook (whose family works for our family for years). The bad news is that I am always being hit for extra money for medicine, school fees etc. which we give because she and her mom are "family".

 This explains two things: one, why salaries are so low (they make up for it by "gifts") and why Chano and Joy have trouble keeping help (they figure you should work for the amount of money usually paid in our area as their salary, which is too low, but if you ask for money, they take it out of your next paycheck. Everything clear and exact. Locals figure they can earn more elsewhere and often disappear after a few months for better paying jobs).

 Well, anyway, I ended up buying a washer/drier (two tubs) instead of just a drier. The good news is that we now don't have to worry about our old washer dying, the bad news is that the drier is small so only will take one bedsheet at a time. Which is fine, since usually the wash is wrung out by hand and mainly it is the towels and bedsheets and jeans that need to be spun dry before hanging them up.

 Leila suggested keeping it downstairs, so they can do the wash in the side kitchen that we only use for parties/events. That way the cook or our maid can supervise it's use. She hangs clothing in our yard, but now we have laundry lines in the spare kitchen to hang up stuff when it is raining, such as now.

The windows are open, and this makes it easy to dry clothing, except for the 100 percent humidity that prevents stuff from getting dry. The answer for this is to iron clothes. And luckily the "gift" that came with the washer/drier was a dry iron, meaning Leila doesn't have to wait til the upstair iron is not being used before she dries our clothing (mainly tee shirts and cotton underware that doesn't dry well).

 I should explain we live in Lolo's old house, a one story ranch style house with a garden in front. Chano lives in an apartment over the meeting room, and the spare storage rooms are used for ironing upstairs, along with the offices, guest rooms etc. The rice packing is down downstairs in our old office, which is spearate from the kitchen areas and next to the meeting room.


 I should also add that Ruby bought Persuasion and the Giver to read. She is on a Jane Austen kick. she also has my LOTR book, but I suspect that will take awhile to get through.

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