Fe’aus

Here in American Samoa the 10 of us have learned to live in a new way. It’s actually rather comical. Water has to be boiled for at least 20 minutes before you can drink it. But don’t forget you started water to boil before getting involved in an overly competitive game of Taboo, because by the time you get back the water will be nearly gone and you have to start over. There is no hot water anywhere. It’s amazing how far you can bend backwards when you want to get your hair and your hair only wet because you just don’t want to freeze yet. Ants, rats, mold and other pests are attracted to all of your food. Everything goes in the refrigerator now. Today we hand-washed our laundry in the girl’s showers. I’m not usually a huge fan of doing laundry, but today’s laundry session will be a memory I will remember forever. Picture this – 4 girls (Me, Steevee, Caroline and Sasha) and 1 boy (Matt) put on their conservative Samoan swim attire and carry their laundry, 2 plastic storage bins, clothes line, and overpriced laundry detergent to the girl’s showers (much cleaner than the boy’s showers…). The 2 tubs are filled with soapy water using the shower (a piece of PCV pipe that shoots water straight out at you – the term shower is used loosely). By this point everyone is soaked. Clothes are all dumped in and swished around. Everyone grabs handfuls of clothes and they are rinsed in the shower. Everything is hung on temporary clothes lines across the shower room. You have to duck when you walk to avoid hitting everyone’s laundry and knocking it down. Nothing clean can touch the floor (nasty!) so we are careful not to drop anything. Everything must then be rung dry, put back in the tubs, and taken to hang dry. But the adventure does not stop here. The principal says hanging our laundry outside makes her school “look like a brothel” (everyone on island dries clothes outside but I guess palagi clothes are different) so clothes lines have been hung in every direction across the classroom where we sleep. Now we wait and hope things will dry. But things take a loooong time to dry here. I’ve attached pictures but they in no way show the ridiculousness of today’s fe’aus (chores). I never thought doing my laundry could be such an experience.

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6 thoughts on “Fe’aus

  1. Reminds me of my time in Mexico where it was just easier to hand wash and hang dry some things……..

  2. I guess this is kind of late, but there used to be (still might be?) a secret laundromat behind the store that is just before Steven and Son’s (I think it’s a blue and white store). It’s owned by a guy named Leo. If you can’t find it, ask around.

  3. Hahahaha! I will think of you when I casually toss things in the washer and dryer and choose the appropriate settings for temperature and spin speed…:)

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