Spending Mabrouk Al-Eid with friends!

This post was written while we were in Chad.

The Sonlight materials we have waited for came yesterday! Now we have most of what we need for Susan’s school; it had become messed up because we had portions of Grade 3 stuff here and in the US. When they accidentally sent the order to Maine, they fixed the problem and sent a new order to Chad. It was exciting to see a man on a motorcycle dropping off FedEx packages; it was a taste of home.BBC.com chad_fruitbuyer

Yesterday was the last Fast day of Ramadan in Chad; the traffic showed it, as people tried to get the last-minute shopping in before the holiday. In order for our family to celebrate with Sharon’s friend M*, I decided to find out where she lived. After that, we dropped her off at Dembe market with her two friends, where they went shopping for sandals. Right now, sandals, sugar, clothes and candy are the big sellers!

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Too afraid to start up the generator

Troubled by a rebel attack on Abéché, Chad

Enough time has passed by that I can tell you this story about a generator.  It happened during the time when rebels attacked the town of Abéché.  It is the story of a time when I was under intense pressure to back down in my stand for our friend.  Those who sided with me remained silent but many, while few stood against me, but seemed vocal and determined to have it their way.

We were in Abéché, serving with Bakan Assalam.  At the time, Bakan Assalam would help the Aunties and Uncles of orphans by providing medical and nutritional assistance.  As a result, many of these orphans were able to survive despite the harsh conditions of the deserts of Chad.

My role at Bakan Assalam was to develop the language of the village where they had opened their first dispensary in the 1960s. Rebels had just invaded Abéché.  Our team was on edge.

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How an election is run in other countries

Another reason to be proud to be an American

As I write this, it’s election season in the United States.  Hillary Clinton is the Democrat’s nominee, while Donald Trump won the Republican nomination.  Because it’s voting season, I want share with you how elections run in other countries.

romney-kenya

The Romney Campaign is alive and well in Africa

The campaigning season can be as exciting there as it is here.  The candidates will travel from town to town to make speeches and encourage the people to come out and vote for them.  They will often give out hats and T-Shirts to their supporters with their picture on them.  Usually, the incumbent president or party will outspend the opposition candidates in gifts, parties and appearances.

On election day, voting takes place, mostly at the schools.  The electoral commission in the capital city prints out voter lists, and sends their delegates out to the villages, towns and cities with official ballots and a big, wooden box with a straight, long hole on top.  The boxes open on top, but remain locked up and sealed by the electoral commission in the head office.  Each electoral commission official is responsible to make sure that the election runs smoothly in his area of responsibility.

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Luggage, food, and lasting impressions of Dakar

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We watched the sun rise this morning from the porch, for our last time, until next time we are in Senegal. A last day puts a priority on getting some last-minute things done, and for us, it meant my going to the marketplace. faris041 luggageWe were invited over for supper at the home of a Canadian couple serving here in Dakar.

As Will and I watched the chicken marinated in St. Hubert sauce roast on the gas barbecue, he showed me their micro garden of squash growing on little tables with peanut shells 5 inches deep. It was incredible how much they were invading the planters they were in! We’ll have to try this in Chad.

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Battery acid and solar electric system

This post was written while we were in Chad.

On Monday, we set up the solar panel on the roof, and bought two 150 Amp truck batteries! We realizeden.wikipedia.org acid that the base for the fridge isn’t there, so we couldn’t move it over to the house yesterday.

As the sun was setting, I was wearing my old clothes saved especially for the job of dealing with battery acid. Before pouring the battery acid into the container, I used a battery acid tester to make sure the acid was of a good quality. In the past, the stuff I bought tasted watered down… but this time, the little balls in the tester all floated! So we filled up all the compartments with acid, and let the battery sit overnight.

This morning, we brought them in, and I spent most of the morning carefully attaching the solar panels and the battery to the charge controller… only to find out that the charge controller is defective out of the box. The charge controller keeps the solar panels from overcharging the batteries (which may create an explosion), or drained of electricity from the lights and appliances on the solar system (which would permanently keep the batteries from charging ever again). So the charge controller is a vital part of a solar electric system. There was a need to return and replace it, so the prospect of a quick trip to N’Djamena looked more and more likely.

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