Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life in Nyankunde

Tomorrow, Wednesday we begin our long journey home. We are actually leaving Nyankunde earlier than originally planned. Since the hospital has been quite slow the last couple of weeks, we are leaving a few days early in order to visit two other mission hospitals in Bunia. On Friday we fly to Entebbe, Uganda, where we will spend the night and most of Saturday. At 11:59 pm we fly out of Uganda to Brussels, then on to Newark, NJ. Our last leg is to Raleigh, NC and then a two-hour drive home Sunday evening, February 5.

Here at the missionary guesthouse our electricity comes from solar power. During the day, the panels also charge batteries for use at night. Because the sun shines all day, almost all year long this system works quite well. The fridge runs on kerosene and the stove/oven runs on gas. For hot water the house is equipped with a generator that runs the water heater. It runs for about an hour a day yet only gives us about 15 minutes of hot water a day. Down at the hospital the OR is run by a generator that is only turned on during surgeries. The rest of hospital has no electricity anywhere, not even lights. Because of this, the patients bring a little flashlight to use at night. Some of the flashlights are quite creative. Dad saw one that consisted of 4 batteries laid end to end and tied together with a reed. When you wanted to turn it on, you took 2 wires and touched them to the end of the batteries and touched the other ends to a light bulb. Next to the current OR they are building a newer building that will have a new OR and an intensive care unit that will be powered with solar power.

The water for both our house and the hospital comes from underground springs just over the hill about ½ a mile away. From there it is gathered into holding tanks and then goes into a pipe that runs to a big water tank on the top of the hill. Gravity pulls the water down to the houses. Thankfully, the water is quite safe and doesn’t need any treatment so we can brush our teeth with it but we still filter our drinking water.  Down at the hospital there are numerous spickets where the patient’s families gather their water.

With regard to meals, we have a lovely cook named Sarah. We are on our own for breakfast but she makes us lunch and dinner. I’ll go into the food we eat in another post. At night we have a guard and during the day two other men “mow” the grass with a device that looks like a knife on a stick, sweep floors and sidewalks, do laundry, and garden. 

1 comment:

Melba L said...

That answered some of my questions!! Thanks! Other questions were left unasked and will await your return.