Wednesday, March 19, 2008


As you will see below, I’ve moved into my new apartment and the housekeeping isn’t going to be what I feared (namely, that I would be left to my own devices). This morning, Alex, the caretaker, came while I was reading Morning Prayer on the front porch and asked, “May I clean for you?” Of course I said yes.

He took a basin of soapy water and towel in to my apartment and started mopping the floor. By “mopping,” I mean putting the basin on the floor, wringing out the towel, and swiping the towel over it, bent over at the waist.

He mopped the kitchen and the dining room, cleaned the bathroom, dusted the TV screen (yes, I have a television; I found myself listening to (Kiswahili?) rap videos last night while ironing), then came out and mopped the porch. Eventually, I switched sides so he could mop where I was sitting. And I’ve got to say, it was very difficult for me to pray when someone is bending over double cleaning my dirt. He also washed my shoes. It made me see leisure as a product of someone else’s toil, though I think that is too simple. I will have to think about this some more, especially as Maundy Thursday approaches.

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