Nov 082012

Today I spent the afternoon ironing laundry and yes, ironing underwear.  Now, why would you ever in the world iron underwear you ask?  Seems silly!  I will explain…

Well, the laundry situation here is that usually most people don’t have dryers.  This is due to a combination of electricity being very expensive and it’s plenty hot outside, so most people just dry their clothes on racks or lines on their balcony/yard.  This is totally fine so far, right?  Sometimes if it’s especially humid, your clothes might get a little bit of that moldy smell.  Not pleasant, but tolerable.  The real reason you iron EVERYTHING after it’s been drying outside is because of something called the mango worm or fly.   After reading the linked wiki article, I also see it’s also known unpleasantly as the skin maggot fly.  You see where I’m going this!  The flies like to lay eggs in damp places, such as clothes hanging out to dry.  That’s a perfect spot for them.  The eggs get into your clothes and then the larvae hatch and burrow into your skin, creating a type of cyst.  One of our friends here had this once and he said it just looked like a big whitehead pimple on his shoulder.   The larvae attaches to your skin with little fangs and feeds off of the pus that forms in the pimple.  To get it out you usually cover the hole with Vaseline to suffocate the maggot and it will let go and come up looking for air.  Then you can squeeze out the worm.  Our friend didn’t know what it was so he tried popping the zit and a maggot came squirming out!  What a traumatic experience, right?!

Heat will kill the eggs of the mango fly so that is why you iron everything after it’s been dried outside.  And everything includes ironing your underwear.  The housekeeper of the woman whose house we’ve been staying at usually does our laundry and ironing (amazing!) but tomorrow we are moving back to the hotel so I had to do some ironing today.  It’s lucky that you can get help with all the laundry and ironing because the process just takes so much longer here.  No more drop off wash and fold like we had in New York!  We did drop off our laundry once here at a store and it cost a small fortune so I don’t think we’ll be trying that again.

You Never Know What You Might Find In Your Clothes!

 November 8, 2012  Posted by at 5:50 pm Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  Add comments

  5 Responses to “Ironing Underwear”

  1. thats crazyyyyy. if you get your own house, maybe you can build a structure with mosquito netting aroudn it and dry your clothes in there. but then again freshly ironed underwear sounds amazing!

  2. did you find a job yet? lets start a coffee roasting business! you can find the farmers and i can roast them!

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