Monday, April 30, 2012

Where we grocery shop...

Yes, we have an Albertson Supermarket!  The sign says so!  Right now they are remodeling.  And that is our truck parked in front.

We've been in twice but haven't found anything to buy at Albertson's.

A lot of our shopping is done here at Bo Mini Market
and some of our shopping here at Sabbagh's.

Average size of cucumbers.

Bell pepper

Produce is rarely at one of the above stores.  It is sold in the market.  The cucumbers may be small but we really enjoy our yogurt-cucumber-garlic with chicory root for sweetener.  We make yogurt once a week using powdered milk from Holland.  It works great!  I even made some ice-milk (no vanilla or cream for ice cream) and with a little juice or jam it tastes good too!  We are making more of our bread now.  Flat bread is plentiful in Freetown but quite unpredictable in Bo.  It's easier to make it than try to find it!  The loaf bread is small so we are making that also, along with corn, peanut, and oatmeal muffins.

Produce is not very plentiful in Bo, pretty much limited to onions, garlic, potatoes, cucumber, cabbage, peppers.  Tomatoes look very poor and haven't tried them.  There are leaf veggies but except for cabbage we don't eat those either... too questionable on getting them clean.  We have been grateful for the papaya and plantain in our yard but that season seems to be over.  We did harvest 1 small pineapple and a couple of coconuts but there won't be any more for another year.  Mangos are in season now and they are delicious!  We have 1 mango tree in the yard but only a few fruit so far.

We see people planting seeds now.  The farmers pretty much burned the growing areas in April in preparation for planting.  There has been a little rain so we know the rainy season is coming!  It will be interesting to see if the produce availability changes during the rainy season.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Second trip to the Liberia border

Our second journey to the Liberia border to transfer missionaries started out at 7 AM, Thursday, April 12, with us going ahead to take the ferry crossing route while Markus picked up more elders. The trip by way of the ferry was supposed to take less time.

We missed the turn at the police checkpoint and turned around after about 10 minutes when we realized we were on the wrong road.  At the police check we asked about Markus and they hadn't seen him (he had gone by but we later found out they hadn't noticed him).  We were then told that the ferry had sunk and wasn't operating, so we headed back to Bo in a hurry thinking we had to catch up with Markus because we thought we might have misunderstood which way we were to go.

When we got back to our apartment we were able to call President Roggia and eventually heard from Markus (when he finally got into cell phone service range) that he had gone all the way to the ferry only to find out the ferry had sunk. That cost him an extra two hours of travel plus he had to get more fuel just as we had to when we got back to Bo.  We finally left for the border by way of Kenema at 11:15 AM.  We were able to leave the last border station heading home at 5:40 PM and reached our home at 11 PM after dropping off the sisters at the sisters' apartment.

A bit of the red dirt from the pot holes we went through stuck to the truck.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dealing with the generator

Here are a few pictures to show how we keep the generator going during the dry season when there is no public power (not enough water at the hydroelectric dams near Kenema).

Pouring diesel from 5 gallon container to a 1 gallon container
Because the access to pouring fuel into the generator tank is right under the generator control panel, the fuel cannot be poured directly from the 5 gallon. We fill the smaller can and then pour from it.

Pouring from 1 gallon can into the generator tank

"Fuel gauge" Each mark is about 1 gallon.

2 cylinder, 8.2 KW diesel generator

Last Friday morning we woke to having no ceiling lights.  I called for help before we sat down to breakfast and help arrived just as we finished breakfast.  One phase of the 3-phase circuit was out so we went to check the generator and found that it had shifted off of its wood blocks (it had never been bolted down and we later found the shift this time to be due to heavy vibration).  After getting help from our elders in the apartment behind us, we put it back in place (and put nails in the boards to brace the engine to help keep it from vibrating off the boards.)  The circuit breaker on the generator would not stay "on" and we had to pry open the generator control panel (because the latch was frozen shut). We discovered two things inside the control panel.  1. One phase was by-passing the circuit breaker, i.e, hard-wired from the generator to the house.  2. One of the other lines was not tripping properly.

We replaced the faulty circuit breaker with a new one. Then traced a second problem to a hidden and buried line from the house to the dead lights on the security wall. That line was found to have an intermittent short and was cut free from the house circuits.

The two working air conditioners were on the line that skipped the circuit breaker.  While the air conditioner was turned off during the testing, there was still power to the air conditioner circuit due to the hard wired "fix" inside the generator control panel that was found later.  The frequent powering up and down of the generator to find the circuit load problem prior to prying open the control panel and discovering the badly wired circuit breaker, has caused a problem with the new air conditioner in the master bed room.  We don't know if the problem is simply a fuse in the air conditioner or something more serious. We'll find out when the air conditioner technician comes to look at it.

But we did have power back to all our lights! And Friday evening we were treated to this beautiful cloud in the East.

Sunday we attended the New Barracks Branch and heard the Primary Class children singing.  Here they are: