The Lost Art of Being Resourceful

How to use your resources to their maximum potential

Mongo (October 14, 2010): We are writing you from the middle of the country.  We are staying at the home of our friends who are working to develop one of the languages here.  While here, we are stretching our resourcefulness to the limit. We are learning how to be resourceful as we try to live in this new, challenging situation.

Being Resourceful is using the resources available to you to their greatest potential.  It’s what you need when normal channels are no longer available to you.  As things get more difficult, it means learning about new resources we may have overlooked.

Our time in Mongo during the dry season has been a University Course in Resourcefulness for us all.

Being Resourceful with water

Resourceful with water for Showers, etc.In the four days since we have been on our own in the Aviles home, the town water has only run once, at 4 AM, giving us about 25 gallons (100 liters) of water into one of two plastic barrels in the kitchen. Such conditions push you to use the water to its greatest potential; we are re-using the water for rinsing the dishes in the morning, to wash them in the afternoon. Then we re-use the water for washing the dishes, to flush the toilet. In fact, we are gathering water in basins from the bathroom sink, from our showers (max 2 gallons per shower) and from washing the dishes to flush the toilet. So we use the water 2-3 times before we finish it.

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The Plastic Kettle: running water where you need it

What was the most useful thing to you during this year’s wind storm?  For me, it’s a plastic kettle I brought home from Chad on my last trip there.

In Chad, internal plumbing in a rented home can be a big hassle.  I have seen faucets in bedrooms, but none in the kitchen or bathroom.  Some faucets are a few feet above the ground, perfect for filling up a bucket!  I have also seen them well above my head, too high for me to reach.

How do you get water from strange places to where you need it most?

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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 Keep a Chadian Water Cooler Cold

In the desert land of Chad, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold drink of water. But where could you find it at home, in the market or a business where electricity is so scarce? If I were you, I would head straight for the nearest water pot.

The water pot has its origins in ancient Egyptian and Greek societies. But as people began to use electricity for refrigeration, it fell into disuse. Not so in Chad, where clay pot manufacturing is still one of the most successful artisan businesses.

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Withdrawal of resources, unlimited grace

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We are struggling lately with the basics here at the orphanage. I go to the bank a few times on the weekend for a withdrawal our monthly rent from the ATM. However the dispenser is either down or turned off. We have to wait on this issue before we make a withdrawal of money for our regular living expenses. Now we are starting to draw from our savings. It is the beginning of the month, so the typical rush on the bank is happening now.

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