Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Right or So Wrong?

Alas, I am a hypocrite. My secret judgmental opinion prior to my arrival on Libyan soil was that people who have cleaners were people who thought that their own “poop” did not stink and I was pretty disgusted that they were happy enough to pay a few bob to have their own mess cleaned up and not bother to do it themselves.

I however, have fallen in to the trap and must eat my own words.

The heat and workload in Libya barely gives me enough energy to cook a meal, let alone start scrubbing the walls and floors. (The first week is not included when I went on the ultimate cleaning, bleaching & polishing domestic goddess binge). So, I have hired a cleaner who comes around to my apartment once a week. She is a lovely Morroccan lady who does not speak a word of English but has a soft smile and a gentle manner (and the fact that none of my valuables have gone missing is an added bonus). I feel so embarrassed that she is cleaning up after me that I have a clean up the night before she comes and I also leave out cakes and crisps and food for her to eat while she is at my house. She arrives at early o’clock and leaves after 5pm and her charge for a days work is 25 LYD . . . which is the equivalent to £12.40 per day, that is £49.60 per month. She cleans absolutely everything, including my duvet and irons my socks. This is a complete luxury to me and one which I was completely against prior to my visit here, and I feel like an absolute hypocrite as I was so against my previous partner having a cleaner back in the UK but at the same time I feel unable to complete anything after work due to my hectic work schedule and the unbelievable heat!

One of the arguments FOR having a cleaner is that it is providing employment to someone who earns very little in Libya and is grateful for all the work that they get...

At the same time I can’t help but think...

Am I participating in exploitation or am I contributing to her personal gain or the economy by employing her?