Housekeeping and housekeepers

After moving here, one of the first things I realized is how much harder it is to clean house in Egypt.  The floors need to be mopped on a daily basis because of the dust.  Windows and furniture need daily dusting.  Egypt is a desert and there is a LOT of dust.  Basically it takes a lot more work to keep a house clean.  I was surprised by how many foreigners here employ a maid (known as Shugala).  Frankly I had looked down on the practice.  I like doing things for myself, and just didn’t really feel that comfortable with someone cleaning up after me.  Finally dh insisted if I couldn’t keep the house clean alone, to get help. 

I found someone through my kids’ arabic teacher.  A much older lady, I think she must be about 70 at least.  We pay 400LE (about $70) a month for her to come four days a week.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than most of the teachers at the school I studied  arabic make, and they are college grads.  I’m pretty sure the lady who cleans for us is illiterate.  Alhamdulillah, the house is much cleaner, but there are difficulties that come along.  First, do not expect them to do the work the way you do it.  I am veeery picky about somethings, especially dishwashing.  In fact, I go back over the cups, silverware sometimes, till it’s the way I want it.  Second, finding someone trustworthy can be difficult.  Even Egyptians are wary of who to let in their homes.  Ask around and make sure you find someone trustworthy.  Foreigners are often overcharged.  They will try to shirk on the work if you let them.  I have to walk a fine line between not being a dictator and still getting what I pay for. 

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