Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Trivia

Our "P" Days are always interesting. I mean we dust, vacuum, mop and do general cleaning. Two weeks ago I thoroughly scrubbed down the "cooker" - that's the kitchen stove for those of you who don't know how Europeans identify certain appliances. It was very messy. I didn't clean the oven though, I saved that for another day - and it will take an hour or more just to clean that. Typically "cookers" are only apartment sized kitchen stoves. We do have a couple of members who own their own homes and have regular sized kitchen appliances. But for a flat (that's "apartment" in Euro-speak) everything is down-sized for space saving purposes. Our flat has a space set aside in the kitchen for a dishwasher, but do you think we have one? NOT!! Instead we use the space for the kitchen trash can and extra storage.
Anytime we need to turn on an appliance we have to turn on the appropriate master switch located in a nearby wall, then turn on the appliance. Even the cooker. Before we take a shower we must turn on the master switch in the hallway to heat the water, wait for a bit and then shower. Having the master switches though is handy because we do not get charged for the little bit of energy used by the appliances, etc., when we have them turned off at the master switch.
We have a hallway between our living room and bedrooms/bathroom that is closed off and was set up as a pantry. It is my intent in the future to remove the items in the 'pantry' to uncover the door and make it useful once more. It cuts off the air-flow between the rooms, making it extra hot in the summer.
When I wash a load in the washing machine it takes approximately 2 hours to complete. It is a front-loading machine, and for a 'white' load I can only put in 3 of Elder Vargas' white shirts and three set each of our underclothing. Very small load indeed. Therefore I must wash clothing three times a week, or I cannot keep up with the laundry. And because of the climate here sometimes we have to shower twice a day, thus creating double the laundry afterward. It is one of the annoyances of life here. In the summer time I do not use the dryer (located on our balcony terrace) to save on electricity because we have to run the air-conditioning so much. I'd rather be able to use the air-conditioning than put a load in the dryer. It's a choice I have to make. So to dry our clothing here is a picture to show you how it's done:
Everyone on the Island owns these portable clothes drying racks. Many people place theirs out on their balconies. We also have a clothes line on our balcony, but I will only use it for sheets, etc., not our personal clothing. But that's just me. One other note on drying our clothing on the rack in the kitchen - even though I use fabric softener in the wash load all the clothing is very stiff after they dry. I told Elder Vargas he could probably screw on his socks, they are so darn stiff! Elder Vargas has taken to ironing his own white shirts/trousers. He says I did them for him for more than 40 years so it's his turn. I'm not crying! Ha! Also, after I prepare the meals and we have eaten he gets up from the table and washes all the dishes. I put the washed/dried utensils, pots & pans,etc., back in the cupboards and drawers and put any left-over food in refrigerator containers.
He even washes dishes for me when I'm preparing meals for church. This week I made food for twenty two hungry missionaries for Zone Conference. I do not make all the food, there are three other sets of missionary couples who bring food as well, but it's still a big chore for all of us. I also make meals for the Young Single Adult activities. They have Family Home Evening on Monday nights and Activity Night on Friday nights. Consequently I do do lots of cooking!
Transfers are next week for the young elders/sisters and we usually drive a couple of them to the airport, or pick them up at the airport, etc. The young elders/sisters are transferred between Greece and Cyprus in this mission. Our mission home is in Athens, Greece and it's a two hour flight for any transferring missionaries from Athens, Greece to Larnaka, Cyprus. And Larnaka is a 40 minute drive southeast of Nicosia where we are stationed. We do lots of driving here.

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