Wednesday, September 21, 2011
While trying to get my CPAP machine (for sleep apnea) set up to work off of solar, we sort of fried it. Now this machine is not available outside the US and with no insurance it would have cost me about $1,000 and maybe six months to get another one. I still had the first one I ever had and it worked, but it wasn't set for this altitude--still better than nothing. But in this culture people have learned how to fix things, even complicated electronic things. Shaban found a guy in Musoma who got it working for about $70 parts and labor. The only thing it used to do that it doesn't now is to automatically turn itself off and on--I have to push a button. There is a lot we have to do without, but the fundis (craftsman) here are really good at keeping things running. Creative and intelligent. If we could just improve basic education, we could change the nation. In the meantime, God's blessings on the guy that fixed my breathing machine. By tomorrow night, we should have all our security lights (covering an area about two acres) running off solar power with interior lights in both cottages and our house. The cost was about $3,000 when all was said and done (twice what we thought) but we will still make that back in less than a year while Tanzania may take five years to get their power problems fixed. We will sleep much sounder and safer at night.