Where Fire and Flashlights Fail

olivia

By: Olivia Bunz

 

The importance of power is simple: so many people, in this day and age, don’t think they can live without it. If you think about it, so many facets of our lives depend on it. From the lights we need to see after sundown, to clocks to make sure we stay on time. From computers to help us answer all of our questions, to the TVs to get us our afternoon news. We even need power to charge many of our mobile devices. Without power, many aspects of what we consider modern necessities cease to exist, or at least have function. But that’s not true in Haiti. Majority of the population actually lives without electricity. There is no central “grid”, no power-lines connecting everything, outside of Port Au Prince. The large majority of the country, living up in the mountains, lives their lives when the sun is up, rising with the first rays of sunshine, and working until sundown. And when they need to do things after dark, they rely on fires and flashlights.

As you can imagine, fires aren’t exactly realistic around our orphanage, and we go through plenty of flashlights when we do have power. So when our previous generator stopped working, the most reasonable solution for our orphanage was to go get a functional, reliable generator and create our own power. The task of finding a generator was a journey in  and of itself. It was one that brought us down to Port Au Prince at least six times, had us visit four different stores, and caused us to get lost twice in Port Au Prince. But we finally found the perfect generator: a 16 kW “delko”, big enough to easily handle everything we have on orphanage grounds, all turned on at the same time. But a reliable generator means so much more than just being able to run our washing machine while we have all the church equipment running.

It means the kids can count on us having movie night, every Friday night. It means the mommies can run the washing machine four times in a row and cut the amount of laundry they have to do by hand, in half. It means that everyone in the village of Fond Blanc can hear our orphanage every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, as we thank the good Lord for all the glorious things he has done for us. A generator means so much more than just lights. A generator means we can move forward in making this the best orphanage it can be.

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