Electricity and keeping it operating at HATS is a huge and ongoing concern and problem. How many times today have you flicked a light switch, or turned on an appliance or the TV without thinking?
Here in Haiti the flicking of a switch and the ensuing light that follows is usually then followed by a smile or sigh of relief or some new Haitian words I recently learned from little Anne!!
Electricity arrives on the compound from one of 5 possible sources:
1) EDH - Électricité de Haiti..EDH (Pronounced Eddie Ash. I was here 3 days on my first visit before I realized Karen was referring to Hydro and not some random local dude!!) The Hydro is delivered via traditional overhead wires from various transmitting stations. The closest one to HATS is a small Hydro dam at Ti- Rivière. Last June a lightning strike hit the transformer and it blew its top and was destroyed. It hasn’t been replaced. EDH wants Karen to pay $6000 US to replace the transformer. That’s not going to happen because of the expense and the fact that the product is not that good. Hydro is un-reliable at best, most times not available, expensive and prone to power surges which has destroyed electronic equipment at other missions.
|Ti – Rivière|
2) DELCO – The generator. The diesel generator is now 10 years old and showing its age. Parts are hard to find and it was out of service for 3 months this summer waiting for a part to arrive and be installed. It runs about 5 hours per day to provide electricity for the laundry, pump well water to the holding tanks, feed the internet and charge the batteries. It has not been providing constant voltage and killed am air conditioner, printer and a fridge already this month.
3) Inverter – An inverter converts DC power into AC power. A house runs on AC power and a car uses a DC battery. When the Delco (or the recently deceased Eddie Ash) run they charge a group of 16 car batteries through a battery charger in the inverter. At night the batteries through the inverter run some lights and the fridge.
|Batteries and Inverter|
4) Mini diesel generator – When the Delco was on the fritz this summer Karen borrowed a small household diesel generator. It was able to pump water and charge the batteries enough to keep the food from spoiling in the fridge.
5) Self winding flashlight – When all else fails the old self winding flashlight provides enough light to keep from bumping toes or stepping on insects in the dark. It has 3 functions.
Musical instrument, depending on speed of winding
A toy for children or bored volunteers
Emma O'Rourke, Karen's brother Don, and their team members in Springdale, Newfoundland raised the necessary funds for a new generator. Thank you Emma, Don, team members, and all in Newfoundland who donated and helped in any way for this to now be a reality.
Low and behold……. Karen and Luckner were able to finally track down a new generator in Port au Prince and it arrived today to much fanfare!!! A Wilson P33-3 with a Perkins motor.
Yup. You read it right. Wilson P33-3.
|New generator arrival|
|Generator shed modification|
|The generator arrival show – standing room only|
|The boss is the one with the red hair not the red hat!!|
Hopefully it will get installed, hooked up and tested in the next few days.
I’ll keep you updated on this powerful soap opera…….. if we have electricity!!!!