Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There is no way to adequately explain the relief we feel knowing that we have all our security lights on solar power.  No matter what happens with the national power company or our generator (bad spark plug, out of petrol) we have lights that burn for fourteen hours every night.  We turn them on before the sun goes down and don't have to turn them off till the sun is up the next day.  It would be nice to have the whole compound like that but the cost is prohibitive.  Not to mention that you have to have a propane refrigerator if you want it to be solar.  Ovens and hot water heaters also pull so much power we'd need lots of solar panels.  We are investigating passive solar water heaters (heaters that don't have to use electricity, but the water is just heated by the sun).  There's an orphanage north of us that uses that and has for at least fifteen years with no problems.  Prices have more than doubled since we moved here.  It's bad for us but not nearly as bad as it is for the poor who are now paying two or three times the old price for rice, corn, sugar, and other staples.  It's so bad in Kenya that Tanzanians are illegally smuggling sugar across the border because they can get so much more for it in Kenya--making it scarce here in Tanzania.  Diesel is back to $11 a gallon, so it costs almost $200 to fill our car with it--and we don't get good mileage on these roads and having to use four-wheel drive.  We're not complaining, we know how bad it is in the U.S. as well.  Guess we just have to adapt.  How does the Serenity Prayer go: "Give me the courage to change those things I can, the patience to accept those things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference."  That may not be word for word, but it is the gist.  Jesus didn't teach us to do much more than love and help each other and that's enough to keep us pretty busy, every day.  Juliana's son has to remain in jail for at least another week and it kills us to see her tears, but there is nothing we can do except let her know that we love her and stand with her.  There may be someone who needs you to stand with them--seek them out and offer your support.  It can change lives.  
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