On Again, Off Again

electricityWritten on November 1, 2009.  The next few posts were written while I was in Nigeria.

Imagine, if you will, going home from a long day at the office only to find that your electricity is cut off.  You have been having this problem for days and the electric company is saying that they are working on the problem.  Imagine just as you are going to bed the electricity comes on.  Thinking that the problem is fixed you jump in the shower only to have it go off again.  Standing in the shower all soaped up you begin to think about sitting on a beach in the Caribbean because it must be better than here.

That is how most of the missionaries live in Jos, Nigeria.  They don’t have consistent power and there is nothing they can do about it.  Their only recourse is to go buy a generator to give their house some electricity.  But the gas to power the gen (as they call it; my theory is if you have a nickname for something you are probably pretty familiar with it) costs money.  In fact, Nigeria is known as the gen capital of the world.  That is how much they rely on gens in Jos.

I was out at a mission hospital in Jos the other day and the doctor there said that the hospital would be making a profit if it weren’t for the gas expenditure on the gens.  The missionaries and Nigerians have adjusted to the lack of consistent power, but can you imagine the frustration and stress this adds to their life.  I’m frustrated with it and I’ve only been here a few days.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “On Again, Off Again

  1. thosewinklers

    We were just talking about this tonight…and debating between going the solar route or getting a gen. (And yeah, I thought it was interesting how everyone calls them gens.)

    Where did you hear that we are the gen capital of the world?

  2. We have been having daily power outages, so the other day the power was on, which means the water pump was running, which means we have water in the house, so I was taking the time to fill up the 5 gallon bucket that we keep in the shower so we can take a bucket bath if need be. As I was doing this I thought, I never used to this in the States.

    Oh, and for the record, I do live on a beach (or close) in the Caribbean.

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