15 May 2012


   Throughout much of RAAS (the southern autonomous region on Nicaragua's east coast) laundry is done in concrete 'sinks' that have both a built-in washboard and one or two reservoirs for water.   In many houses where there is also a washer and dryer, laundry is still done in a sink like this.   
   All the laundry at my favorite hotel in downtown Bluefields is done using this type of sink: towels, sheets, tablecloths, etc.  In fact someone at that hotel taught my sister, years ago, how to do laundry in the hotel sink after laughing at her first efforts - and she taught me.  We've gotten pretty good at it.  
   When the original small house was built at False Bluff, the northernmost open end of the structure was intended for laundry.  With the new house up, it was time to make good on that intention and get rid of the wooden washboard, nailed to a couple of 2 x 4's under a tree, that had been used for laundry for more than a year.
     So we went shopping in Bluefields.  One of my sons bought the sink as a gift to the project.  We'd like to have gotten a sink with two water reservoirs in addition to the washboard, but considering how much of a job we knew it was going to be to get this heavy sucker out of the hardware store, into a truck, onto and then off of a boat, and then from the dock to its final resting place...I cannot imagine how we'd have managed with the extra weight of that second reservoir.  We didn't buy one of the fancy tiled sinks either like the one shown in the second picture below.
   Though right now water is hauled to the 'laundry room' in buckets, pipes are in place for the next phase of the project which will bring water right to the sink.  Then we won't need our 'second reservoir' which is a bright blue plastic barrel, cut down so nobody falls in and drowns.  Greywater plumbing recycles the laundry wastewater and irrigates landscape plants that will eventually screen the laundry area...in this case hibiscus and hydrangea.
The hardware store where the sink was purchased
Tiled or plain?
The 'to-be' laundry room
The green bar is excellent laundry soap
Sink, in place and in use