Laundry day in the Sahara

March 31, 2012

As a kid,  glossy, colorful National Geographic magazine was my only window to the world that lay beyond our country. Drawn in by the images of exotic places inhabited by people who lived so much differently than we did, I spent hours turning the shiny pages and imagining what life might be like for these strange, but attractive people. With our 24/7 access to global images, do people still lose themselves in National Geographic? A pity if they don’t.

For much of this trip, I felt like I was traveling through those pages. For example: these Berber women are washing clothes in this small stream. In 2012. Given the dust and dirt in Morocco, it’s a seriously monumental task.
These are their tools: a couple of plastic buckets. After a rainfall, they sit on the damp sand. Otherwise, they’re just sitting on more grit while they wash clothes.
Laundry’s my favorite chore, but it wouldn’t be if I had to do it like this.

And how about drying? On an old fallen tree. In the dust. Their laundry basket is hitched nearby on a beast of burden.
What would these women would think of our modern laundry appliances, I wonder? 

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