Brooms

 

These are the brooms preferred by our housekeeper.  They are about as short as they look.  The one on the left, or a newer version of same, is preferred by most of our Filipino guests who visit and want to sweep something their child spilled.  I have two American style brooms, one a mistake and too short to use, not must taller than the ones above. There are a couple Filipino friends who will use the shorter of the two, but nobody wants to use the tallest.This is my outside, or ‘dirty kitchen’ as they call it here.  When you buy ice-cream from a guy on a bike with a cart and his own ice-cream maker, that’s called dirty ice-cream.  What I have is the counters you see and the sink, and a light. There’s no outlet.  The cupboards underneath kind of give me the shudders and I don’t store anything in them, and if the helper does, I don’t know about it.  The grill is also back here, as well as part of the clothesline, and, in fact, my washing machine. There is no dryer.  Washing machines are nearly always outside, provided you even have one.  And some of them must be rather different from my experience.  Long story, we hired a new helper to come on Fridays, mostly because he’s a young man from church who needed a job and he had helped us out quite a bit previously so we kind of have an obligation to help him back.  Anyway, he had previously been a helper at another house, a much larger one, he tells me.  But he thought to use the washing he had to fill it with buckets of water from the sink.  He was amazed that it fills itself.  he doesn’t like it, though.  He thinks it takes too long and he would rather use it to wash the clothes up to the rinse cycle and then he wants to pull them out, wring them by hand and hang them to dry.  He asked two weeks in a row.  I finally let him.  The clothes took almost two days and a night to dry.  In his defense, there was rain so half of the time they had to be hung on the racks in our covered and screened inside patio (I guess our other patio is more of a courtyard?) where we get no breeze and they always take longer to dry there.

Anyway- the broom to the right is made of coconut branches.  I am not sure what it’s for.  The Monday and Wednesday helper doesn’t use it inside.  Maybe it scrapes loose dirt off the patio, or is used for knocking down cobwebs and bagworms off the fence, but I don’t know.  I could watch, but she is kind of shy about working while I watch (except for cooking or dishes, she doesn’t seem to mind me hanging around while she does those), and I admit it does feel awkward.  So while she’s here, I kind of rotate from one room to another so I am not underfoot, or I sit outside in the inner patio with the fan on.  Although, last Wednesday I apparently got my schedule off because she chased me back inside because she needed to wash the patio floor.  I did catch a glimpse of her doing this once, and it was a wonder.  After sweeping very thoroughly she lightly sprayed it with the hose, and then flung a dry rag to the floor and stepped onto it and, literally, danced across the floor, humming to herself.  When she finished, she took a quick glance around to see that she’d not missed a spot, and with a flourish, grabbed the rag with her toes and tossed it up *behind* her, where she turned and caught it in the air.

the Friday helper wouldn’t mind if I followed along and chatted.  He sings hymns as he works and loves it when I join in, and he doesn’t mind an audience at all.  He also doesn’t cook and he’s not as good at choosing fruits at the market as our Monday, Wednesday helper.   He loves the neighborhood children, rascals that they are, and he will gather them together and sing and tell them Bible stories for an hour, which we also think is worth paying him for.

 

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