I thought I could just do the dishes by hand, but I must admit that I was very grateful when Tom spoiled me and bought a dishwasher. It is one of the bigger models. It holds 8 place settings! (We can only fit 7 plates, but who's counting?) When we went to the appliance store to look at the dishwashers, I thought they were kidding when they started showing us the models. I had no idea they came in dollhouse size. I feel like Holly Hobby.
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but this model doesn't have a built-in garbage disposal like the one at home. I have to actually scrape the dishes into a garbage bag. I know--life is tough.
In the picture, next to the dishwasher (which doesn't fit in the kitchen), you can just catch a glimpse of our circa 1972 washing machine. Now, I'm not complaining about the age of the machine. It does an adequate job. I actually have one of the brand new HE front load models back home and am probably the only person in the world who would trade it back in a heartbeat for my old top load agitator. They just don't make some things like they used to! This machine is no nonsense: one speed, one program--on/off. We have to switch the drain in the back between the washing machine and the dishwasher. (We can't use both at once.) The washer leaks sometimes, but Tom finally figured out that we just have to push the clothes down after the initial spin cycle, or they get in the way of the water filling for the rinse cycle, and water comes spraying out the top. This could be fun on a hot day.
Here is my dryer:
Sorry about the underwear in the shot, but it's a fact of life--underwear does have to be washed and dried occasionally. It felt a little primitive at first to hang the clothes outside, and I was a little worried about the bird poop directly under the line. But, so far, our clean clothes haven't become a target, and I must say that I actually enjoy hanging them. Marissa and I have made it into a sort of bonding time. Plus, I have finally figured out just when to put the fabric softener in the washer so our clothes don't come out crunchy. The first batch of towels could have stood in the corner by themselves. And who doesn't love wrapping up in a nice stiff, scratchy towel right out of the shower?
Speaking of the shower, we actually live in the lap of luxury with a real hot water heater! It's solar powered. We figured out the hard way that if you use all the hot water one day (for example, bathing all the kids on a Saturday night to get ready for church the next morning) you won't have any hot water the next morning. Thankfully, we have a shower out back with an electric shower head. I don't know if you've ever tried one of these beauties, but they are almost like the real thing! If you keep the water pressure as low as you can, ( just over a dribble), you are able to take a nice almost luke-warm shower. Tom thinks it's a great way to speed me up on a Sunday morning. And yes, we have a shower out back. It's an enclosed bathroom with a separate bedroom. We are guessing that this is in the event that one of the guests at any of our wild parties gets drunk and needs to "crash". I'll just have to remember when the room is occupied on a Sunday morning.
Our friends, Valeria and Tim, generously donated and installed a water filter in our kitchen. It is hooked up to a faucet next to the kitchen sink. Now we can refill our water bottles right from home! I admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but so far nobody has come down with the gombu. I do wonder, though-- if we can't safely drink the water from the tap, why am I washing and rinsing my dishes in it--the dishes that I eat off of? (They don't all fit in the dishwasher, believe it or not.) But, we all seem pretty healthy so far, so who am I to question?
It may not sound like it, but I am actually very grateful for all of these appliances and realize that we are very fortunate to have them. But, does it make me a bad person to be more grateful to know that I can go back to my American conveniences when this adventure is over?