Packing in the desert during hot season

This post was written while we were still in Chad, Africa.

I’m “back from being underground”; not in covert operations, but rather, I became swamped with packing! And all this in the middle of Mother’s Day weekend, which I knew better than to ignore and pretend like it wasn’t happening. We had coconut pancakes for breakfast, and were thankful to enjoy fellowship with our friends over lunch… with their huge solar system, complete with COLD WATER from their freezer that runs 24/7!! Then I went out and bought pizzas from Rose du Sable.

Our house has been part home, part storage unit for some time now. So the first step was easy: get all the stuff that is storage out into the courtyard. However, DO NOT put any boxes or wood on the ground, or the termites will get it! I mistakenly put a box on the ground to get something out of a suitcase; by the next morning, the termites had made a nest in the box of Tupperware. I was thankful it wasn’t a box of books, or I would have been in HUGE trouble.

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Our return trip to Abeche

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Today was our trip to Abeche, from Mongo! This trip was the result of five months of planning and prayer. We were so glad to make it here at last!

Sharon is still recovering from her illness, and from a busy, big day of preparation yesterday. I started yesterday off by refilling our water supply from the well in the courtyard. This involved throwing a bucket with a roped tied to it down the well. It was difficult for me to get the bucket to tip into the water so it could fill up. I didn’t realize how heavy a bucket full of water is when you are pulling it back up! After many successful attempts, I obtained about 65 gallons of water, and it took me until 11 AM due to my lack of experience. So, that’s why our friends, the Avileses, are so careful with water!

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How to reheat leftovers without electricity

In the Chad Innovations category of our website, we discuss practical solutions to the challenges of living in Chad.  By living in a place where life doesn’t work the way we are used to, we were forced to become innovators and inventors of new solutions.  One of the first problems I had to solve while there was to figure out how to reheat food without electricity.

Laura at HeavenlyHomemakers.com does not use a microwave because… well, it’s a lifestyle choice.  But for us, living in Chad made it impossible.

If you have regular electricity in your home in Chad, then you have been blessed to own generator or a solar electric system.  All it would take to shut your system down forever is to plug a 100 Watt incandescent bulb into the inverter, and turn it on.  In such a case, can you imagine what damage an electric stove, or even a toaster oven would cause from the draw it produces?

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Electricity challenges to share with our guests

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We feel pleased to open our home to a family of four who is coming to serve here. They planned to stay for a few days, but their alternate housing opportunity fell through, so they stay with us. We prepared the guest room and bathroom (complete with the rare sit-down toilet) for the day they arrived. They needed somewhere to store their things, and we just happen to have empty rooms for them to do so.

With their arrival, rainy season seems to have begun. The winds blew violently for a week or two, then sunny days gave way to cloudy ones. It’s still hot in the afternoons, but the evenings are as cool as air conditioning some nights.

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How Much Solar Energy Do You REALLY Need?

This post was written while we were in Chad.

How much of a solar energy system do you need to satisfy the needs of your village home?

The answer depends on a lot of variables, the biggest of which are where you live and what you want to do with it. Some of us live near the equator and want to just run a few lights, while others of us live outside the tropics, yet still want to run a hot tub while they microwave a bag of popcorn as they watch satellite on a large screen TV, while they wait for their clothes to dry.

To run a few lights, all you need is one 70 Ah battery and a 50 to 120 Watt solar panel. I read about someone who was in the latter group, and three arrays with 25 120 Watt solar panels each could not satisfy their need.

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