Thursday, December 1, 2011
The Third and Fourth Day
I'm a little behind on the blog. A lack of electricity, stima in swahili, can make it tough to get on the internet. The power system here in Kenya is interesting. The homes use 240 VAC, 50 Hz, single phase power. Homes in the US are primarily 120 VAC, 60 Hz, single phase with some appliances, like and electric dryer, running on 240 VAC, 60 Hz, two phase. Because of the higher voltage the transformers and power lines are a little larger.
The transformers and power lines are only six to seven feet off the ground in most places. I believe most of the electrical system was built by the British in the 1960's and hasn't been upgraded, or maintained well, since. There are trees growing through the power lines, poles that are on the verge of falling and cables running all over the place. Kenya Power seems to working on upgrading the system and catching up on maintenance but with a city of 5 million and years of neglect there is a lot of work to do.
Some of the work that is needed, like clearing tree limbs from the power lines, requires shutting down parts of the system. Some of the work uncovers other problems which result in unexpected outages. The condition of the system also lends itself to unexpected outages. It is easy to see why the power is out as much as it is. Sometimes I am surprised there is any power at all.
Picking up on Jerry's comment on my earlier post - the power system here is a good object lesson of our reliance on the Holy Spirit and our relationship with the Father. The relationship has to be maintained, like any good relationship, to have meaning and impact in our lives. If we don't work on our relationship with God we can become disconnected and lose sight of the blessings and opportunities He provides. The longer we neglect our relationship with the Father the more disconnected we become and we may require more work in our lives to get back to where we need to be. One of the many things I love about going on short term missions is the daily reminder of how much I rely on God. These trips create milestones in my life and when I think back on them I am reminded of how I am reliant on God and how the Father, the Son and the Spirit care and provide for all my needs.