Saturday, June 25, 2016

“Normal is a relative term; I have yet to meet a ‘normal’ person.” ― Ken Poirot

Another “normal” day here in equatorial Africa.  John needed to meet someone in Mwanza to work on solar projects, but our car was and is still rather broken.  They really needed John, so they paid for him to take a taxi the 80 miles to Mwanza which cost about $100 for the round trip (over 160 miles).  I suspect that would be a lot more in New York or Chicago, but here not such a bad deal.  The taxi wasn’t air conditioned, but to John’s horror, neither was the house where he would be teaching and working on his solar projects.  He was glad to get back to Bunda late yesterday afternoon as we were at 75 degrees with breezes, so cool for us.  Shaban was also in Mwanza trying to find a new front axle for our car—and he did.  The good thing about having a very popular twenty-year-old car is that there are lots of parts, used and new in the big cities (Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania).  Shaban thinks that by Monday, the car will be up and running again.  Total repair cost should be about $750 which is not too bad considering what all had to be done.  I hope that he is correct.  Edina, the lady who heads up our outdoor workers and does all the landscaping here, has one of John’s solar systems at her house, but she was having trouble with it.  The cool thing about the solar project is that everything is done over cell phones, so when she told John of her troubles, he asked to see her phone.  It was in bad shape having been caught in the rain and dropped several times.  Phones are not expensive here, especially since all calls are prepaid.  If the phone companies want to make money, they have to make sure lots of people have phones.  You can get a cheap phone for $5.00, so we gave Edina $25 to get a new one, and she brought it in to show me yesterday.  It was very nice and like a new car to her.  Sometimes it just takes a little gift to make someone very, very happy.  It also cleared up her solar energy problems, so winner, winner, winner.  
     We’ve been having high winds, low temperatures, and even rain in the middle of the dry season.  Maybe the vote in Britain had something to do with it—you know, global warning.  Rain and wind combined usually means damage to roofs and houses and this last week was no exception.  You can see the damage to the thatch on the security hut in the picture at the right that I took at 7:00 A.M. this very morning.  It is so cool to just go out my bedroom door (yes, I can limp out there without a walker or wheelchair) and see the sun coming up over the Serengeti and to see all the flowers Karen and Edina have planted.  Sissie (our Tibetan Terrier) also likes to go out in the morning, but she has business to do and asked me not to take pictures of her.  She is so cute and has made such a difference to our family that we thank God every day for sending her to us.  One family of missionaries needed to find her a new home, and Karen jumped at the chance.  Karen and Sissie are both treated as queens around here and deservedly so.  Well, that’s all the news from Lake Victoria and environs for today.  No earth-shattering elections, just broken phones and cars getting fixed, and torn ligaments slowly healing.  Life as we know it.
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