Thursday, May 21, 2015

Missionary Plumber

Sometimes you have to take off your missionary hat and put on your plumbers hat or at least your head lamp so you can see what you are doing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vehicles in Africa

Sometimes we use our vehicles for interesting things that we normally wouldn’t do in the states.  Steve and I are not into naming our vehicle, but it is known around Mbala as the Mbala hearse.  Poor Steve has transported quite a few bodies to a village for burial over the past six years.



On Monday he pulled into our yard looking like this!!! 

    We have been having water problems.  This is not a new problem, just an on going one.  On the fridge I keep a calendar where I keep track of the water.  I write  a blue YES on the left side of the square if water came in the AM and on the right for PM.  I write a red NO and circle it if is didn’t come.  I then keep all these calendars.  Lately they have been sending water over the weekends (a lot of it) and not sending any through the week.  They send for three or four days and then take three for four days off.  They are suppose to send water for two hours in the AM and again for two more hours in the PM.

This may sound tedious or annoying, but when we don’t keep track we run out of water.  By keeping track we can scale back on our usage.  If it doesn’t come we don’t do as much laundry or we don’t do laundry at all.  If we do laundry we catch all the water in an ice chest and water the garden with it.  Otherwise, we don’t water the garden. We don’t mop the floors.  We don’t flush the toilet as much.  We do take bucket baths.  We do turn off the pump, so water comes out of the faucets more slowly.  This way you use less water to wash your hands.

We have a homemade storage well (I call it) made with mud bricks and plastered with cement.  We cannot clean it very well.  Stuff just crumbles off the wall when you try to scrub it.  The termites are also eating at it.

We also have a tank up on top of a building that holds 1000 liters of water.  This is for when the electric goes off.  Then we at least have water thanks to gravity. 

Then we have six drums that hold between 220 and 240 liters of water.  When they don’t send water and the storage well in the ground it getting low, then Steve siphons water out of the drums into the well.  We put about two a day into the well. 

For the past month Steve has been putting two drums a day in the well on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  On Thursdays he has been going to the water companies office to make sure they know we haven’t been getting water and what it the problems, because on Friday he is going to have to load up the drums and go fill them up.  I won’t tell you all that goes on there.  That is another story in itself.

So far, he has not had to load the drums and go fetch water.  Some how they figure out the problem and send water on Thursday nights.

This on going problem is wearing Steve down and something has got to change.  He asked permission to buy a 5,000 liter tank.  That is what you see on top of the vehicle.  A semi did bring it from Kasama, but he was going to Mpulungu.  So at the junction they rolled it off the semi and onto the top of our vehicle.  Steve had about 3K to our house, which was a very slow drive.

One and a half weeks ago, Steve asked the water company if they realized that in the last 14 days we only got water for three days?!?!  Since then water has come everyday morning and night for more than two hours!!!!

We are thankful for the abundant water and for the new tank.