Posted: February 2, 2009 in Uncategorized






1, Have a blackout for several hours and the water pump which does not work on battery power does not pump water to the holding tank on the roof of the house.

2, Have the roof holding tank which water is pumped into during city power or on generator go dry because of doing regular things that use water. Things like: bathing, flushing toilets, doing dishes and so on.

3, Go to bed at night with the water holding tank dry and forgetting to turn off the water spigot of the sink because the water ran out and normally you shut off the spigot from which the water is not coming but this time you forget.

4, Have city power come on at about three in the morning after having been off since early afternoon. But don’t get up to plug in the fridge, freezer, and water cooler that you unplug when on battery power because they will drain the batteries too quickly. And so since you didn’t get up right away but rather an hour later to plug in the fridge, freezer, and water cooler you didn’t see that the spigot that you forgot to turn off has been running for about one hour and since the kitchen sink doesn’t drain the water that should go down the drain, now flows out of the sink that won’t drain onto the floor of the kitchen and the adjacent rooms.

5, Shut off the spigot and decide that nothing can be done at the moment and hope that the three BIG mastiff dogs can somehow drink the flooded water away. They didn’t.





1, Get up Sunday morning at about 5:00 to get ready for church and start the generator to get electricity into the house and to charge the batteries. I actually got up at 3:18 AM when I received a message on my cell phone telling me that a friend Ted had called me. Well in Haiti when you receive such calls from let’s say midnight to 4:00 AM it usually means there is a problem with thieves or an emergency. I tried calling him back but couldn’t find him and so I took our security guard and we went to his house, arriving at 3:30. I talked to the guard there and looked around and all seemed okay. The next morning I looked at the message and it said that Ted had called me the afternoon before at 5:20. So it is now 3:18 in the morning and that is when I receive the missed call message. I was happy that all was okay but wished that I had received the missed call message several hours earlier.

Shortly after turning on the generator, having the thing start protesting and then smoking and then kind of shutting off but not shutting off completely and not being able to shut it off by using the shut off switch. So I pulled the thingy that controls the fuel and it shut off (Actually I pulled something and can’t really explain what it is). Clearly something burned up inside which I could tell by the smoke pouring out of the generator and by the smell that a electrical fire gives off. This was not good!

2, Don Buxman, who was visiting with his wife Lisa, and I tried to identify the problem but it was getting late as I needed to leave for church at around 6:30. While at church city power came on and gave some charge to the batteries, which was good since we lost city power in the afternoon

3, We have not had city power since yesterday and the batteries ran out of juice about three this morning. The generator is broken as it has been determined by the local generator fixer guy that the windings have burnt up. So he today took the winding thingies out and he told me that in six days he will come back with them, rewound.

4, So there is no city power, the generator is broken and the batteries are out of juice. And darkness will soon be upon us. Without fans to keep them away, the mosquitoes will feast tonight. We can use the mosquito repellent stuff for your skin but the stuff that has a small percentage of deet is just liquid refreshment for the little creatures and the stronger stuff wears off eventually.


Making the best of the situation


John McHoul


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