Friday, November 15, 2013


Even though I've been here a couple years and feel pretty comfortable with how things work here, every so often I have experiences that show without a shadow of a doubt that I am definitely not Nica.  One recently happened at my DC and has to do with washing.  If you had to pick between the 3 methods shown below, which would you choose?
Lavadero and pila...the ridged section (lavadero) is for scrubbing.  The deep section (pila) is the water reservoir for rinsing

I think you all know this beauty

Flat rock for scrubbing, lake water for rinsing
I, like most of you I'm sure, choose the washing machine.  I have yet, to date, lived in a place without one, and it was #1 on our list of things to buy when we moved to Nindiri.  I'm fortunate, though.  Probably 90% of Nicaragua still washes by hand.  However, at my DC I was put in a situation where I had to wash using the pila.....correction:  had to clean a very dirty mop head in front of my entire congregation using the pila.

Picture the scene:  3 pilas all attached to each other with me and 2 sisters at each then 2 brothers between us all scooping water regularly to help out.  I thought, "I've got this.  Very quietly I'm going to ask Shema (the brother next to me) how to do this and then no one will know my handicap thus avoiding a big, embarrassing scene."  To which Shema responded loudly in My Big Fat Greek Wedding style (you don't eat no meat?!), "What?!  You don't know how to wash by hand?!  That's ok, I'll explain it."  Apparently, the trick is to just scrub to death against the ridges until you feel like your arms will fall off and you no longer have any fingernails.  Only then is the mop head truly clean.  And when you have 50 people behind you screaming, "Dale, Shawn, dale!"  (Go for it, Shawn, go for it) failure is not an option.  Let's just say I ended up with a fairly clean mop head, a very tickled congregation, and no feeling in my biceps until the next morning.

I'll never take my washer for granted again.


  1. Haha love it!! Our washing machine was our best purchase, but we did nine months in Nica without one. Wasn't too bad. I do always feel uncomfortable doing it at the assembly though since I'm never sure if I'm doing it just right! Good for you for doing it!! Did you just have your DC? Ours is in December, three weeks after Circuit Assembly!

    1. Yes, I went with Granada Circuit to the assembly in September. Nindiri doesn't have it though until the end of December and then we have the Circuit Assembly 2 weeks later. Yikes!

  2. I completely understand your pain. I had a similar experience at Pioneer School. I've tried using the pila for my clothes, but have ruined a few shirts that way. Apparently, you can scrub too hard as well. We will all figure it out eventually!

    1. Yeah, I've heard that. I do love the pila though for small stuff like extra dirty socks, sweat rags from service, etc.