Water and electricity

We had our first hot showers in several weeks. The water and power here in the ‘compound’ that is the Mission Home is very strange. The more I try to figure out the issues (I seem to have been elected to figure out the problems here…), the more confused I become.

There are two main sources of power to the mission home: one comes from SNELL the city power company, the other comes from a ‘local’ power source, that comes from…well, I have no clue where it comes from. By having TWO sources of power, we have it very good–we can switch from one power source to another. however…

Each power source has three lines that come in. You need at least two lines to power anything, and all three lines to power big things like stoves or washers. The problem is that most of the time you have only two lines working, or one, and you switch back and forth between power sources to get the most power. Then, if all hope fails (as it has most of the last two weeks), you shut off the power and turn on the emergency generator.

But the most interesting thing is how the homes are wired. It seems that every home has been wired at least THREE ways, using different sources of power, or different lines from each power source. What that means is that, for example, the Wright’s office on the west is working, while the Eastman’s office on the east is not, or vise versa. Or the center office/room is working and neither of the others is. Yesterday we were trying to keep the internet going (which is located in the central office area), and finally ended up finding ONE plug that was working in the corner of the Eastman’s office, and so ran a very long extension cord from there to plug in the internet console.

In our kitchen (at the rear of the office) we have the same conditions. Most of the time our stove works, even if EVERYTHING else is off, or is off when everything else is working. This week the plug we use for the fridge wasn’t working, even though everything else in the kitchen was working… so we ended up finding a long extension cord and running it into the Wright’s office to find a plug that worked.

The same is happening to all the couple’s apartments. The Pres and Eastman’s just get tired of the complexity and turn the power off, and the generator on!

We usually have power somewhere, so we don’t use the generator much, except occasionally when we have to do a wash, then we don’t have a choice–or go without clothes!

The water is the same. Sometimes there is pressure, sometimes none. Sometimes we have hot water (when the power works) and sometimes not. The trick is to get water pressure AND hot water at the same time! That happened for me last night for the first time in several weeks. What a treat!


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