Those of you following this blog know that every time our power goes out I whine and moan and complain like there’s no tomorrow even though I’m one of the lucky ones — four out of five persons in Zambia have no electricity. Only ~3% of those in the rural areas have electricity (2006 figures). Kind of puts things into perspective, huh? I really have nothing, absolutely nothing(!!), to complain about.
Though I’m thrilled with our new solar lamp/cell phone charger I am still concerned about what to do with our refrigerator/freezer during a power outage. We’ve lost an entire fridge/freezer’s worth of food twice in the ten months we’ve been here. Also, we lose all contact with the world during an outage because our wireless, modem and computers all need electricity to operate. (Again, I say this realizing we’re one of the lucky ones!)
The obvious solution is to buy a generator but (a) they’re very expensive, and (b) the quality of equipment here tends to be very poor, so even if we did buy one who knows how long it would last.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, when I showed Yvonne (our landlady’s mother who lives in the cottage on the property) the nifty solar power lamp she said, you know, there are two generators from South Africa that B. is storing in one of my bedrooms. (B. is her son-in-law.)
Excuse me??? There are generators, quality generators, sitting in your storage room? Yes.
I didn’t believe it, that there could have been generators within yards of us all of this time. I asked her to show me. So, off we went to her storage room, piled floor to ceiling with stuff the landlord didn’t bring with his family when they moved to Mozambique.
The room was so full it could barely fit both of us but I squeezed in next to her and she pointed, there they are, under that stuff.
See them? Yeah, I didn’t either. Then, she lifted a leather flap from a piece of furniture and I lifted a blanket and there they were! Two beautiful generators — one red taking gasoline (they call it petrol here) and one yellow taking diesel.
I emailed B. immediately and said, hey, if we service these generators would you mind if Yvonne and I use them — one for her house and one for ours? He wrote back within 24 hours and said sure.
Wow! Talk about ask and you will receive. It’s going to take some work getting them out of that room but apparently they’re in very good shape. Danny the gardener says he knows exactly how they work, and all we need to do is buy fuel and he’ll get them going for us. I’ll let you know when we have our first test run. Of course, now that we have generators we’ll never have another power outage…you know how these things work…