Today was a change in plans but, as we have learned from previous experiences, you have to go with the flow in Haiti. Outside factors prevented us from being able to leave Healing Haiti's grounds for the day which ended up being a blessing in disguise as God still had something to do here at 'home'. One of the ladies was gracious enough to allow us to invade her daily routine and showed us how to do laundry the right way (however no one told Madi so she spent the morning on the balcony having a solo Bible study, thanks guys). It was humbling to think about all the mothers who have to put so many different things into motion just to do a chore that is as simple as pressing a button in America.
Days start early and end late for the working Haitian mother. Long, hot days full of manual labor result in a small paycheck each week. Funds from that check are taken in small bills to the market in search for bleach and soap. Those products are then walked back home, or you can pay more money to catch a tap-tap but that would dig into the funds left over for tuition, food, and bills. If no water is available at home, which typically it is not in abundance, then the mother will go out with her children when the water truck arrives later in the week and collect water in 5-gallon retired Home Depot buckets. Once the water is acquired and the supplies are purchased, she will gather all her children's stained clothing, as their supply is not abundant and they will run out soon, and soak them in the same Home Depot bucket with said soap and bleach. It will not be uncommon for her to spend the next few hours painstakingly scrubbing by hand each and every stain out of the clothing before wringing out nearly every drop of water out of the article of clothing. The following morning she will remove the clothes from the line outside and go to work.
In America, we open our neatly painted cabinets and fish around numerous luxury items to boost the fragrance of our clothes that we have such a variety of we only bother to wear about once or twice in the same year in order to not be a repeat outfit offender. We pour as much cleaning agent into our expensive automatic washing machines as we wish because laundry detergent is sold at every store imaginable so we need not worry about when we run out. We close the lid and press the button, thankfully all while having cell phone in hand so we are not forced to focus on one thing for too long at once.
So when we say the main agenda of the day was doing laundry, we say it with much more meaning you could imagine. We saw a glimpse into the daily life of Haitian living. We saw the glue that holds Haitian household together: the Haitian mother and her endless work ethic.