Living in a third world country, you learn patience, perseverance, and flexibility. Our first year here was just one big lesson in those three characteristics over and over and over. Learning how to live with inconsistent electricity, water, and internet took major adjustment for all of us. There were many tears, frustrations, and sleepless hot nights. Through the grace and mercy of God, we made it through that first year, and living with these inconsistency became normal.
Fast forward four years to now…
Since July, there have been new challenges with our electricity and internet, so we have been trying to adjust to a new normal. One that has challenged and stretched us more than before.
Let me explain our power system here. When I say “city power”, this is the electricity that comes through the electric lines from the capital city. We have an inverter and batteries that provide electricity to us when “city power” is not on. However, the batteries only provide electricity for up to 4 hours…or 6 hours if we unplug our refrigerator. As you can imagine, we are super conservative with our electricity when living by battery power.
Mo thinks that we are getting more city power than before…when it comes on. Our electric lines are old, and there are more people living in our community than when they were initially installed. Because there are longer periods of time that our community is getting power, that means more work for the old lines. Plus, the power station in our community is old and not able to keep up with the additional work placed on the lines. Something always seems to be breaking there also. Once the power comes in, blows something along the line or something at the power stations, we go without power for 2-5 days at a time while it is getting fixed. We rarely go a full week without something breaking. Few people pay an electric bill here, and most have spliced into the lines to hook up power to their homes. Thus, the electric company doesn’t have extra money to replace the lines or whatever is broken or needs upgrading at the power station.
As for the internet, something is broken there as well. Our internet literally comes on for about 10 seconds, then goes out for 5-10 seconds. All of my extremely patient friends can vouch for me on this one. Trying to Skype, FaceTime, or have a phone call with us looks something like…say a few sentences, freeze, wait, and then repeat yourself. We also lose internet for short periods each day as well. It is frustrating at best! The hardest part is that my daughters do school online. That means it can take a few days to get assignments submitted, and almost impossible for them to have their verbal testing with their teachers. I am so thankful for understanding teachers and patient daughters.
A few weeks ago, we all just kind of broke. Months of struggling (on top of numerous other stresses that I won’t go into) finally just did us in. We were empty and had no more fight left in us at the moment. Yes, God is our strength and our perseverance. However, we also need to know when it is time for some good old-fashioned self-care! Luckily, we were able to go away for the night, get hot showers with water pressure, solid electricity, and my girls were able to submit assignments through consistent internet. That is exactly what we needed to fill us back up.
Here we are.. working through and living in our new normal. We don’t have a happy heart every single day, but we are definitely working on it. We are leaning into Him right now…I mean, we are leaning…and leaning…and leaning! Goodness, keep those prayers coming!