There's Something about Mary

Stories and thoughts about my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova

Laundry can’t be too difficult right?

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I have been really lucky with my housing placement in Moldova.  My host family in training had an indoor shower, toilet and a washing machine.  My permanent site has all the amenities too, they actually have two machines, one that my host mom uses outside in the Spring and Summer and another one for the colder months, I wrote about it in August.

Yesterday I told my host mom that I wanted to my laundry in the morning.  She told me no problem, just that we would use the indoor machine.  I figured something like that, so we agreed she would show me how to use it in the morning.  The machine is actually in German, so it was all kind of a guessing game.

This morning I got up, got my clothes together and asked for her help.  We turned it on, and nothing really happened.  You could hear the water running, but it didn’t look like any of the clothes were getting wet.  She called my host dad inside, and he couldn’t figure it out either, so they called the neighbor, who they bought it from.  He came over, spoke some Russian to my host mom and she told me it should work and we should leave now, when I get home from work it will be done.  When I got home she told me it didn’t work.  So I grabbed my computer and opened the trusty Google Translate hoping I could figure out what all the buttons translate to.  There was one that translated to “spin” so I pushed that and tried again.  Some of my clothes were wet, but it was like the machine filled up and never did a spin cycle, because they were all in the same position as when they started….strange.  The “spin” button didn’t seem to make any difference, so my host mom had my host dad carry in the washing machine from outside.  And that is how I washed my clothes tonight, using the shower to rinse them.  My host mom was nice and took them outside to hang dry for me.  I have a feeling it will be several days until this whole process is complete.

Upon further discussion with my host mom I realized that she has never actually used the inside machine, and she prefers just to hand wash her clothes in the winter.  I am now determined to get the machine to work before I leave, or at least figure out why it doesn’t.

O zi buna!


Author: Mary O

Hi, I'm Mary. I am orignally from Spokane Wash., where I lived for 20 years of my life. I went to school in Bellingham Wash, at Western Washington University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. In June 2011, I moved to Moldova for the Peace Corps. In the Peace Corps, I am an Agribusiness and Rural Development Volunteer, and live in a town called Riscani, which is about 3 hours northwest of the capital city. I love Moldova, but there are somedays where I really miss all my friends and family in the States! Email me if you have more questions!

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