Wednesday, March 9, 2011

a maid

When we were in Africa a few years back, the women there asked if we had a maid.  No, of course we don't have a maid, I thought. 

We were in between jobs and graduate school at that time...volunteering our time that summer.  I felt very poor...unsure of how we would afford a move, insurance, day to day living, etc.

As we went throughout the trip, though, my view of having a maid changed.  We went to an orphanage and helped with whatever we could - scrubbing the children's clothes, washing dishes, chatting with women as they cooked the daily meal and sweeping the dinning area after the meal.  Whether we were helpful or not I don't know, but those activities consumed a large majority of our moments (and almost the whole of their days). 

I think about this sometimes while I do my laundry or wash my dishes.  My maid is a machine.  How can I complain that I have to switch over and fold the laundry?  How does it get piled up over the days?  How hard is it to put dishes into the dishwasher...adding a bit of soap?

I think about this as Evee and I read "Little House in the Big Woods" as well.  Each day Laura's mom had a task, Laura and Mary would help.  That "simple" task would take the entire day...baking, washing, mending, etc.  All done by hand.

Brings a little perspective to my days.  I know it's all relative and that the times I feel overwhelmed don't necessarily need to be diminished since we all live a different story.  But all the same, it is a good reminder that I am spoiled in many ways.  I have more "help" than most people living in this world (and machines are only a small part of that).  I can be thankful.

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