Saturday, October 06, 2007


Hey, Steph here. I've been wanting to write about electricity for a while and I'm finally getting to it. I find the plugs and outlets to be quite challenging. I took some pictures of things in our house to show you. The first picture is the standard outlet in the wall. It is made to fit a 3 pronged rectangular plug. The only problem is that very few appliances have a 3 pronged rectangular plug. So, in picture number 2 you can see an adaptor. These are very common here. Picture number 3 shows a round small 2 pronged plug. Picture number 4 shows a large round 3 pronged plug. Picture number 5 shows the power strip in my kitchen which can take both small and large round plugs. So, you have adaptors for all of these different types of plugs. It can become quite challenging. For example, I bought two bedside laps for our room. The lamps had the large 3 pronged plug. So I got a power strip which had the 3 pronged round openings which plugged in to the rectangular plug and plugged in Steve's lamp. The only problem was that my lamp couldn't reach all the way. So we needed another extension cord which could plug into the 3 pronged plug and take a 3 pronged plug. This type of cord was difficult to fine. But finally, Steve scored one day at the store and found it in stock. So now, I too have a light on my side of the bed. One drawer in our kitchen is designated to all different types of adaptors. I have no idea if you will find it interesting or not, but it's just one of the things that I have to chuckle about.
The other interesting thing is that electricity here is pre-paid. We have a little box in the pantry which tells us how many units of electricity we have left. If we are running low it will start to beep at us and we then go down to the electricity store and buy some more. The rates just went up by 40% on October 1, so on Sept. 29th I went down to the electricity store and gave them almost a million kwacha (about $250) to stock up at the old rate. She looked at me like I was crazy. The guy before me gave her 20 thousand kwacha. People here just buy a little at a time because that is all they can afford. Not the white mzungu lady...she stocked up to try to save money.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting Stephanie. Thanks for posting.
p.s. The coffee maker at Haggens blew up on Wednesday, so being the highly trained, highly skilled electrician I am, I went over and unplugged it.

mollyllilja said...

This gives me a headache just thinking about it! What about an espresso maker? probably no espresso for missionaries in Africa! I knew there was a reason I couldn't do what you are doing:)

Ben said...

Thanks for sharing that Stephanie. The "mundane" things of life over there probably strike us over here as interesting. It's been interesting to see how you guys live over there and how you all are doing.