Thursday, January 20, 2011
Last night around midnight, our isolation switch died. John managed to get us back on the power grid with a paper clip--really temporary. An isolation switch is what you must have so you can change from the national power grid to your own generator. That way, when the power goes out, you can switch over so the generator can provide the electricity you need. If you don't have the switch, when the power goes out--it just stays off until they get it fixed--anywhere from one to twelve hours usually. I think twenty hours is the record so far. Shaban rode the bus to Mwanza to get a new one, around $400, and gets back late this afternoon so it can be installed tonight (with luck). Juliana was out for a day because of a neighbor's funeral. It is a huge insult not to spend the day with family when there is a death. You are also expected to give some money to help pay for the coffin and other expenses. We usually send some money with our staff whenever one of their neighbors passes. Charlini was here this afternoon and I said to Lusi (in Swahili) that Karen loved me and Charlini popped up and said "na Charlini pia!" (and Karen loves Charlini, too!) We all laughed. That little girl is good medicine for us.