Humans wear clothes. Some wear more, some less. Some are expensive, glamorous with designer touches straight from the runway, some are little better than rags.

This morning, in the Rio Tomebamba River, a family washes their clothes and bedding.

Two women, wearing yellow rubber boots, stand in the river, soak fabric in water, pound clothes on rocks to remove dirt like ancient Inca people. They have detergent in plastic buckets that they work into the material and suds run into the river and are taken away downstream.

This wash will take most of the day to complete with the longest time needed for the sun to dry blankets before they can be folded, carefully placed in hand woven cloth bags, and carried home.

This family started early and already has washed clothes draped over a concrete wall that separates the river from the road.

We are not as distant from poverty as we want to believe.

There are many in this world who don’t have a washing machine, or the electricity to power it, and come down to the river early when the birds shake themselves awake and try out a few of their sweetest melodies with sunbeams as musical staffs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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