Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Power in Nepal

Before I ever left for Nepal I knew the electricity would be weird. I expected to only have the power on for a few hours a day. But all the talk in the world doesn't really prepare you for experiencing it and living with it. We have a schedule right now with different hours each day when the power is off. Sunday is my favorite day because I get power from 6pm-10am the next morning. Each day's schedule is different from the day before. At the beginning of the week we have power at good times, like before the sun comes up and when the sun is going down. Times when you would notice that you do or don't have power. The end of the week is when we get power from 12-4 in the afternoon and you don't think about it because the sun is out and you don't really need it for lights. I am definitely a lover of light. I find myself running around the house turning every light on when the power comes on just to brighten things up. Especially when I get power in the dusk/evening hours!

We have a backup battery which when we first got here to us seemed to work great. It would turn on about 3 lights at a time one in each room. They were a little dim, but I figured, "Hey, this is Nepal. What do I expect? No big deal." If you wanted a 4th light on you had to turn off one light so you could still only have 3 lights on at a time. We have some outlets around the house that work off of the battery as well. It took us a while to find them. I actually just found another one and we've been here for 2 weeks.

You can't plug anything into the battery outlet that gets hot or uses too much power. You can charge a laptop but that's about it. Nothing too strenuous like a curling iron or a projector. If it gets hot its too much for it to handle.

So for the first 3 maybe 4 days we were here I kept my hair in a pony tail. I straighten my hair every day if I want it down. The only times we had power when we first arrived was in the middle of the night or in the afternoon. I didn't know I had to "plan" to do my hair. The night before our first "fellowship" here I did my hair thinking ahead so that it would be nice the next day. I never had to do that before.

Doing laundry is another thing you have to think of. Our washer takes about an hour to wash a load of clothes. When you only have about 3 hours of electricity a day you have to be on your toes to get it done. It's been pretty interesting doing that.

So all went well for about the first week. It must have been Nepal welcoming us here. After about a week we got an extra hour of electricity. That was a nice surprise. I didn't realize if they can give it, they can also take it away. haha.

Last Wednesday night I was on my toes--and I'm very thankful I was. Our fellowship starts at 5 so I made dinner ahead of time so that when we got back about 6:30 I wouldn't have to do anything but heat the meat for a minute. We walked inside about that time and less than 5 minutes our power went out. Not just the power but our battery backup as well. We had our first candle lit dinner, or flashlight/headlamp dinner. It was very romantic! At least the kids couldn't see the vegetables I hid in the meat. That was probably one of our best meals yet.

It turns out that we had accidentally plugged our refrigerator into a battery backup outlet and it blew out the remainder of our battery. A day or two later we got it replaced. And Praise to the Lord the batteries were 37% off that day! The really exciting thing is that our lights are really bright now. What we thought was just "Nepal lighting" was actually our dying battery. So even though we had to spend money on something we weren't planning too it actually turned out better.

So everything had been going fairly smooth with the power until this weekend. I was excited to have Sunday come around  where I would get 16 hours of electricity in a row (even though I slept through most of it). But that day was odd. The power came on at the right time but went off about an hour later. Then 15 minutes after it turned back on, but this time anything connected to the battery wouldn't come on. Then it would go back and forth between battery and electricity every half hour. It was very strange.

Since then we have also had a weird wattage to our electricity. Our washer has a guard on it, where if the power wattage is too high or too low it won't come on, this is to keep our washer from blowing up. The only problem now is that instead of having a possibility of 3 hours a day to do laundry it's way less because of the weirdness of everything. Some days we get a lot done. Others we don't, but we don't stress about it. I figure everyone here is going through the same thing, no big deal, if they can do it, so can I.

We are staying on top of everything the best we can, having fun learning to adapt to the power and other things, and enjoying just being with one another. It's a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Jamie you are my hero. We continue to hold the rope and pray for your family every day..love & miss you Lou