Monday, July 11, 2011

Bleach Gets Rid of a Multitude of Stains

I love the book of Proverbs because it is full of short practical sayings about life. Things that are not promises or guarantees, but general statements that are true for most people. Well, if I was going to write a list of Proverbs from this summer, they would probably go something like this.

-Leaving open bags of rice on the floor is sure to invite mice into thy dwelling.
- Singing always makes cleaning go quickly, but a grumpy attitude makes an entire day miserable.
- It is easier to learn Kurdish then to get the men's bathroom to smell good.
-  Language barriers can be difficult, but the Lord can work when we are limited.
- Bleach gets rid of a multitude of stains.

I'm sure there are many others, but thus far, those probably summarize some of the lessons I have learned. As for yesterday, bleach definitely got rid of a multitude of stains.
Now standards of cleaning between Kurdish families and Americans are maybe, possibly, slightly, a wee bit different. Plus, since this isn't their house, they are not as motivated to clean it. So by some miracle, Sunday the entire house was empty. All of our children had either gone back to Kurdistan or are in the hospital. We get a new batch on Thursday, but for one whole day the entire upstairs area was empty. This means it is time for a deep clean!
Nine of us tackled the project. In five hours we managed to scrub every single inch of that place. I am not exaggerating. No piece of silverware was left unwashed, no corner left unswept, no cobweb not destroyed!
But let me tell you, it was a battle. There were new species of mold growing up there not known to scientists. It was touch and go for a while, but in the end, we emerged victorious! The dirt had been conquered!
One of my favorite moments came about halfway through the big clean. Now, one of my favorite staff members is a almost 70 year old Australian woman who is originally from British India. As such she has this fantastic accent that is mostly British but has random Australian words thrown in. But she is hilarious! Everything is a tragedy! The world is her stage and she takes full advantage of it. But I adore her! She is one of the wisest godliest women I know.
So during our clean, she came up to me and asked, (Read with a British accent that goes up in pitch as the tragedy grows) "Natalie! Natalie. What am I to do?! This poo brush has been sitting in water! Water Natalie! It is disgusting. How am I to clean it?????" "Bleach." "Bleach! I never use bleach at home. Oh the chemicals Natalie! Here these children are having heart surgery and we are bringing them back to chemicals! I'm just glad the little ones aren't here for this!" "I'm sure it will be ok. And we have to get it clean." "At home I NEVER use bleach! I always use lavender oil! Oh goodness." "It's gonna be ok. Just use bleach this time." "Oh alright. Do you have gloves?! I could not possibly clean using these harsh chemicals without gloves!" "No, sorry." "Oh no! What to do?! Alright, well I will figure it out!" "Alright. Good luck!"
Oh it was funny. I have many stories about life with her. She definitely makes every day much more exciting. And contrary to her desires, bleach is actually very effective, although I am learning to try other things like vinegar. The smell isn't all that pleasant, but it's easier on the skin. Maybe she's right and I will invest in some gloves. In the meantime, I better get back to fighting stains. The upstairs area is clean, but the downstairs still could use some work!

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