Every day is laundry day in Mogpog.

A few do laundry at home in washing machines.

Most do it at home in buckets of water, one for soapy suds and the other for rinsing.

A few use the river, using cane sticks to pummel their laundry into submission, then rinsing clothes in the river. Around town you can hear clothes pounded with boards, slapped against rocks like a potter at his wheel, shirts and trousers rubbed together to work out dirt and grime.. It sounds as if the entire child population is getting a spanking for things they didn’t even do yet.

After laundry is washed and rinsed in the river, it is hung out on the banks to dry in the sun. In town, laundry hangs on fences, clotheslines strung across front porches.

When laundry is done, kids swim in the river, in a pool scooped out by a backhoe.

On this day three girls stand on the bridge above the swimming hole and drop pebbles to startle the boys swimming below. Giggling, they run when one of the boys stands up and tosses a rock back towards them that falls harmlessly into the river

Norman Rockwell would be pleased with this moment.


Send this to a friend