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Washing Machines – Be Grateful You Don’t Have To Wash Your Clothes In The River

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Do you have a Washing Machine? Well, if you have access to the internet and you are reading this post, then you probably have access to one. Whether you own it, or or are a very short walk to the local laundromat.

But most of the world doesn’t have one of these revolutionary home making devices that magically remove stains in the wash.  Have a look at the photo below. I spotted this scene on the way to South Luwangwa National Park in eastern Zambia. I was struck at how much hard work this would be. Like carrying stuff on your head.

These women have to dig a hole in a river bed to access groundwater to try and wash their clothes with whatever cleaning product they can lay their hands on.

Washing Machine African Style: Washing Everyone’s Clothes In The River

Yep, it’s something not even conceivable in the first world unless you’re going on a very long hike in the wilderness. Washing and drying your clothes like this.

Washing Clothes By Hand In The River By African Women
Washing Clothes In The River – Doesn’t Look Like Much Fun To Me.

A Washing Machine is something these women will never ever see in their life times.  If they ever saw one, it might look like some alien creature that’s come to invade this isolated part of Africa that looks like it could transport people to the moon and back.

Since it was invented, the washing machine has transformed the lives of people who are able to have access to electricity. The revolution of the washing machine as described in this book, Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry, hasn’t occurred in Africa and probably won’t in some areas for a very long time.

If you have a Washing Machine, you’re lucky!

So if you ever bitch and moan about having to do the washing because you don’t like doing it, think of these women in eastern Zambia, Southern Africa.

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It’s not that hard to throw your clothes into a washing machine and add a bit of powder.

It might just put things into perspective.

More stuff from Zambia:

If you’re planning a trip soon, check out my best travel insurance tips, and get a quote on some Backpacker Travel Insurance.

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