Stephen & Laura Holt | Sierra Leone, West Africa

Trouble Shooting

The next time you make the casual statement, “I’m going to run the dishwasher,” please think of me.  I too have a dishwasher but she won’t run.  Oh sure, she might slug or poke or plod but she emphatically will not run!  Because of this irksome behavior, I’m constantly struggling with getting her to do her job which is to, well … wash the dishes.  Simple, right?  Maybe not.

To help me out a little I’ve found it useful to have a guide for trouble shooting the dishwasher.  This gives me simple definitions to some common problems.

Dishwasher is DIRTY: This is when my dishwasher is up to her elbows in garden work.  While it’s certainly more pleasurable than washing dishes, it’s not really as needful, but I can’t get her to understand that.

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This Rinse and Hold Cycle has lots more room for the dishwasher to pack more in!

Dishwasher is CLEAN: Here, my dishwasher has just stepped fresh and sparkling clean from the shower and would rather not engage herself in the sweat inducing task of tackling the growing mountain of dirty dishes.

 

Dishwasher is FULL: This is when my troublesome dishwasher has just eaten her meal and the high proportion of carbs has lulled her in to a catatonic state of leisure; there’s not jolting her back to work when this occurs.

 

Dishwasher is EMPTY: Having completely run out of fuel, my dishwasher is now too tired to even plod, let alone run; now she needs, you guessed it, a nap.

Rinse and Hold: For this cycle the dishes are at least rinsed which is a good start toward being washed.  However, they are then neatly stacked in the wash basin and stashed, out of sight and mind, under the kitchen counter.  Sometimes for days.  And she just keeps adding to the basin until there are no clean spoons or other commonly used items.  The frequent and liberal use of this cycle creates quite a back load of dirty dishes.  Trying to get my stubborn, irritating dishwasher to handle such a max load is hard duty to say the least.

Small Load:  Small progress.  Having allowed the dish basin to fill to overflowing, my dishwasher carefully picks through to locate the more needed items and washes them in a pan or mixing bowl which, handily, also needs to be washed.  This relieves some of the pressure for a while by reducing the size if the growing load.

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Double and triple layering the Air Dry Cycle

Air Dry: Now we’re getting somewhere.  This cycle allows the clean dishes to be naturally dried by the warm tropical breezes.  Sounds romantic but my dishwasher likes to continue to stack more dishes on top of the ones which have already dried thus making them wet again. Now the larger load needs to continue in the Air Dry Cycle even longer.  But, hey, we’re making headway; they are at least clean.

 

 

 

Trouble Shooting:  This is extreme and I really don’t recommend it.  While my dishwasher may not run, even a troublesome plodding one is better than none at all!

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Post Script:  I’ve had some interesting questions for some of my more facetious entries.  In case anyone is wondering, No, I don’t have domestic help.  I have known of missionary families here in Sierra Leone who do and I’ll confess an occasional twinge of envy.  However, those folks live in urban areas where locating reliable trained help is easier.  I have enough trouble with my own short comings.  The idea of training a remote village girl to do simple housework is beyond the scope of my patience; I’d have to start too basic (like hand washing).  That would take more time than I’m willing to give and in the end would be no time savings anyway. We also have serious issues of trust or, I should rather say, the complete lack thereof.  

So for now I’ll just tolerate the irritating dishwasher I already have – Me!   Maybe next time I’ll give you my list of grievances regarding my less-than-automatic washer woman.  She’s pleasant enough but seems to be always behind in her duties.  I think she’s related to the dishwasher!

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