Dedicated students here may have to take their studies to the road. Thanks to new solar powered street lights Mango now has a few streets that are really lit up at night. It’s not uncommon to find school students that have hauled a bench out under the lights so that they can do their school work.
We were told these are only available during Ramadan, but they sure are good. They may look like donuts but they actually have more of a savory taste and are similar in taste to onion rings (minus the onion). They are sold with a red sauce for dipping and the boys liked them almost as much as the moto ride we took to find them.
It’s that time of year when we crave rain. The parched ground needs it, the farmers need it, and yet it seems like this week we just got teased by these big thunderstorms that moved over quickly and for the most part didn’t provide any rain. The one rain we did get lasted less than 10 minutes and by the evening things were hot and muggy. Since all the power for the city is provided by a big generator in town, every time there is a storm they shut down their system to protect it from lightning. This means that our generators on the hospital compound come on to keep critical systems up and running. However something in our electrical system was damaged during one of the recent electrical storms so that the generators do not come on automatically as they are supposed to. This means that since Ethan lives close and knows how to start up the generators when there is a power outage during the night or weekend he needs to get the generators up and running quickly and then be available to shut them down when the city power comes back on. We’re praying the problem with the electrical system can be found, new parts can get shipped out, and we can go back on automatic mode soon as rainy season means lots of storms and short power outages.
In case you’re curious, our chicken project hasn’t been going really well. We bought 20 chickens and they give us about 6 eggs a day. Maybe with cooler weather things will change. For now they must be fenced in as they will otherwise try to come in the house any time the doors are open.
Well, Well, Well…
We’ve now drilled for water three times on the hospital property without success. The first attempt was a few years ago and that well was drilled to a depth of 300 meters (984 feet). The second and third attempts both happened this past week. The two wells that were drilled this week were both 240 meters and both also provided very deep dry holes. We feel we have exhausted our options for drilling for water on the HOH property as we’ve used three different locations on the property that were each provided as the most likely place to find water. While it’s hard not to feel disappointed, I know we serve a God who could have answered our prayers with water. So in the midst of the frustration there’s a reason and a purpose for this outcome so we’ll trust and learn as we press on. Not having our own source of water does provide a constant reminder of our dependence on God to provide for our basic needs. This week the city water was turned off once again for a day and a half and we were once again conserving water and praying.
On an interesting or slightly gross note… Some have suggested that these last two holes which are about a foot in diameter and 800 feet deep be used to get rid of amputations from the hospital. Hmmm…
Tonight Garon dropped by to talk water… So I’ll use a photo of the whiteboard in my office to help give an update on our water situation. In case you’re new to this topic, we’ve decided to once again consider drilling for water. I say once again because a few years ago when this project began a well was drilled to the depth of 300 meters (984 feet) with no water. Since then we’ve had a hydrologist do some mapping and he has located a portion of our property where we are most likely to hit water. So we currently use water from the city of Mango and they seem to have supply issues during the driest seasons. After running out of water once during this dry season and needing to severely limit water for a couple of weeks because we were on the brink of running out, we’ve decided we should drill in this new location. While the report done on the property locates the place we are most likely to hit water, it still only gives us 55% chance of hitting water at that location.
Armed with this information we located a company willing to drill for $13,000. They were paid a deposit and then we waited. After much waiting and discussion it seems their drilling truck is broken down and they have finally agreed to return our money and admit they won’t be able to drill. Now we have found a second newer drilling operation that is even located closer to us. They’ve given us two options for a contract for drilling a 200 meter well. With option 1 we would pay $4,400 if we do not hit water and $14,900 if we do hit water. With option 2 we would pay $3,160 if we do not hit water and $17,550 if we do hit water. With any luck a contract will once again be signed tomorrow and we’ll find out when they can begin drilling. While we do have $12,000 for this drilling project, we will need almost $3,000 if we hit water for the remainder of the payment to the drilling company and probably another $8,000 to get electricity to the well, to get the well plumbed into the system, and to construct a small structure around the well. For now it’s prayers we need most desperately, that God would allow us to hit water or quickly make it clear if this is not His will.
This was an exciting meeting… We met with the Togolese employees, chaplains, and a local pastor to hear about the small group studies that were underway and to hear how we could pray for them. Many of these guys are involved in leading or assisting in more than one group where people are gathering to hear about God’s story of hope. The ministry of the hospital has opened doors and helped us find people that are interested in God’s story.
Today the boys’ class put on a Living Museum where each student chose a person from history and put together some facts and a display on their person and presented it to everyone at the guesthouse for a couple of hours during the lunch break. They were set up in little stations where you could go around and listen to each person’s presentation and check out their displays. Aaron chose Paul Revere and Eli chose George Washington. Other people that were represented were Betsy Ross, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, David Livingston, Amy Carmichael, and Squanto.