The last few weeks have been all about hard work. The water pipes on the site of Mama Lufuma, those to the other side of the vally and the suction pipe of the pump line are just about finished. The basins on the roof and across the street are connected. The homemade (and painted) frames to connect the solar panels to the flat roof and at a 15 degree angle are also finished. African (craft)men just need to get them two meters higher so still parties can be given on the roof. And finally, also the Wall-E has been made. The latter refers to the wall with all the invertors, charge controllers, etc. to connect the batteries and solar panels and not to the eponymous Disney movie. The day before yesterday was the first test of the whole system and with some minor adjustments the system should work today.
In addition to all that hard work, there was, of course, time for fun. For example, Julian’s 21st birthday was celebrated with a cake and a rest day, a spontaneous dance party broke out during a power outage, and some people lost rather more than others at Manillen. As our French gets better, we also sometimes laugh at the spelling of some words in the shops. Some examples: milk shek, ketshop, pano soler and redicso.
We also continue to enjoy the children and the African life here. The (small) African animals are sometimes less fun: deet is our best friend against the (malaria) mosquitoes but does not help against the cockroaches, (giant) spiders and mice. Putting our food in boxes and avoiding the outdoor toilet is the way to go!
Finally, yesterday we went to the Inga I and II hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 2000 MW. Although only about 1000 MW is being used at the moment because the electricity grid has not been adapted enough and some turbines and transformers are still under maintenance. The plans to expand (to 44 000 MW and building Igna 3 to 8) are ambitious and we still question their feasibility. Yesterday we also said goodbye to the last visit of the trip: Annemie and Patricia, Julian’s mother and aunt. Their cooking and cleaning skills will be missed.
Now it’s just a matter of enjoying the last few weeks and (hopefully) finishing the project!
PS. The photos will follow later as we cannot upload them now 🙁