If GLA orphanage was located in the USA, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, or any developed country, we probably would only need to have a generator for emergencies. Not like here, where a generator is a necessity!
I remember when we first opened the orphanage and did not have a generator! We used oil filled lamps at night and did not have an incubator. Then an organization out of the USA gave us a little Honda gasoline generator that sounded like someone was revving up a motorcycle outside our bedroom doors whenever we were running it! But we thought we were living the good life after we got that generator!
We were able to have lights at night for a few hours and also able to run an old wringer washer during the day time! This was a luxury because before the generator, we had to wait for city electricity to come on and do things in the middle of the night! Nothing like having to get up at 2 AM to use our computer or take a shower!
Over the years, as GLA has grown, so has or generators! We have our main generator and also a back up one. We never know when we will have a child on life support and we need electricity to run those things!
Once in awhile, both generators will be down. Susan even had to take a baby who needed oxygen up to the Toddler House once because the baby could not tolerate any time off the oxygen. It’s not often both generators will be down at the same time, but it does happen.
Yesterday was one of those days! Our older generator threw a rod through the engine. John says it is not worth fixing. It is quite old. We do have another generator sitting here that needs a new motor and we are looking at getting it fixed. The mechanic looked at it today.
Our big newer generator was automatically shutting down. John could not find the problem. Early in the day, we the local power was on. It is very weak and does not charge the batteries on our Inverter (changes batteries which we can then use to run our electrical system when the generator is off or when we don’t have city power) very well but it at least runs the refrigerators, computers, lights, etc while it is on.
When the took power away from us around 3:30 PM, our batteries only lasted about 1 1/2 hours and then the house went dark! it is always stressful when the power goes out, but John started working on the big generator trying to get it to run again. It would run for about 20 minutes and then die.
While John was working on the generator, I was calling Molly and Patrick here to see if they had our battery operated lamps. I was sure we would need them! Thankfully, Molly was at Fort Jacques and Patrick gave her the lamps and a couple of battery operated fans to send down to us.
I was also talking to Tom Vanderwell via texting on our phones since we had no power for our computer network and he was looking up what the error messages on the generator meant!
John finally adjusted the amps on the generator and it ran and stayed on! Then about 10 PM the city gave us some electricity again! The mechanic came this morning and looked at everything and got things running smoothly. Turns out the fuel pump on the generator was bad.
Life is never boring in Haiti nor is it predictable! After our generator was up and running, Joyce called me and said their generator had stopped at the Toddler House! Pastor Brandon found it was a broken fan belt and thankfully he had a spare at the guest house that fit!
God watches over us but we still have to deal with the woes of living in Haiti….
Posted on Mon, July 4, 2011
by Dixie Bickel