Sunday, September 8, 2013


I was doing dishes yesterday and saved the ziplock for last.  We always wash out our ziplock bags and reuse them.  I really hate doing it.  It's not difficult, just a bit annoying.  It would be much easier to just throw it out.  But I can't.

For three years in Kenya, ziplocks were a rare commodity.  It was one of those things that was always on the "America List" when we were headed back to the States for a shopping trip visit.  So when we imported our ziplock bags, we reused them.  There were ziplocks labeled "Chicken" in permanent black marker, so as not to spread salmonella or whatever other bacteria chicken absorbs.  There were ziplocks for food, for school work, for nails and screws and tid-bits.  But there was never a bag that got thrown away until it had been used so much it accrued holes.  Ziplocks were precious.

A parent of one of my students in Kenya recently posted on Facebook that her child's teacher told her to throw her lunch ziplock bag away.  The child was adamant that she shouldn't.  The teacher, new to Kenya, was adamant that it was garbage.  In the end the child won because she knew her mom would NOT want her to throw her imported ziplock bag away.  And Mom proudly posted her child's reverence for the ziplock on Facebook.

Now, two years out of Kenya, I live in Budapest.  "Ziplocks" are not hard to find.  Any grocery store, drug store, even IKEA have "ziplock" baggies.  Double sealed!  And on a Saturday I'm washing my ziplocks.  Why?  Habit.  I feel wasteful if I don't.  I know that little girl in Kenya is still saving her imported bags.  "Chicken" is still in permanent marker on some of ours.  I will admit I've thrown a few away that I wouldn't have in Kenya, but I've certainly washed most of them.

Saturday I was washing out a ziplock bag and realized...  Kenya taught me so much, even the simple value of a ziplock bag.


  1. Weren't Kenya more interesting?Hungary seems to be a too boring place isn't it?

  2. Weren't Kenya more interesting?Hungary seems to be a too boring place isn't it?

  3. Ziplocks are REALLY hard to find in China. I have a feeling I will be bringing some back with me when I go home.

  4. It's Saturday morning and I can't help it- I'm thinking of you as I wash-to-reuse my Ziplocks! Love this post and its writer~~~