Learning to live WITH running water and electricity

This post was written while we were in Chad.

We had a great trip back to Abéché. From time to time along those 900 kilometers, we kept running into rain. Even here at our destination, it is raining as well. We are thankful for this, mostly because it helps water our friends’ crops; but we also enjoy the cooler temperatures it brings. We are often able to leave our windows open in the house until 11 AM or noontime!

Solar power and waterThe next morning after we got home from N’Djaména, I was on the roof of our house. It was Eid Al-Fitr, the celebration feast after the fast of Ramadan ends. It was a thick cloudy morning, and I worked on the solar panels without being electrocuted. Our solar panels had given us very little power, and I wanted to investigate why as quickly as I could.

As I checked everything, I discovered that one of the solar panels’ internal wiring was loose. Because we had two pairs of solar panels wired in series, this little error was probably the reason two of our solar panels had been useless to us. After re-wiring everything in parallel, we now have refrigeration that freezes the bottles! And surprisingly, the rainy weather is not affecting the solar electricity much.

The Blessing of Power and Water

And now we have town electricity, and town water! The day we arrived back, the water barrels were empty and every water guy was on vacation because of the Ramadan fast; but suddenly, the water spigots began to run in our neighborhood. God provided once again for us in a desperate situation! And now, the water comes on overnight, and we fill all the barrels asWater barrel quickly as possible.

It is taking time to adjust to having these blessings. We forget to turn on a light or a fan, even though these utilities are more often available these days. I end up spending a few hours in a dark room when I didn’t have to; but I am grateful every time I can turn on a fan or a light that is normally turned off. How easy it is for us to become so used to deprivation that we forget the new blessings God has provided for us.

We have begun using one of the outer rooms available to us for storage. It took a few days to make this adjustment, but now the library and office area does not feel so crowded. And I like that the amount of storage space we have allows us to keep each group together, like electronics, Christmas or tools.

Storage Cleanup

Cleaning out the storage means we came across some of the clothes for when the girls get older, which was a good thing for Susan and Deborah, but especially for Deborah. She is outgrowing her clothes, and needed some new ones. She is really happy about the new-to-her pretty dresses that fit her so well.

One of the outfits has some jean Capri pants which fit her lengthwise, but not around the waist. You cannot buy belts for young children here. We tried putting a clothes pin or a safety-pin on to a fold at the waist, but it did not work. So, from all the work with house wiring, I took a spare piece of blue wire and had her thread it through the belt holes. Then I got out my wire cutters, cut it to the right length, and twisted it till it was snug. She is very happy with this; she yelled, “Now I can run (with these pants on)!”

Do you have some interesting or helpful clothing hacks? Please let us know!

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