We've moved to a new house, as we were finding that our old place was just too noisy and that was threatening my ability to work. Processions and loud parties are pretty common at 5:00 AM in Tola... who would have guessed? Its pretty hard to explain that to my students when teaching online as well. I'm not sure I know the answer to questions like "Why do people have pigs if its in the city? Why are they having a party at 5:00 AM? Why don't motorcycles have mufflers there?"
Anyways, our new place is on the far edge of town, close to the graveyard. So far its been quite a bit calmer. Now that the dry season is back we have the new challenge of rationing water. We get running water now only for a few hours each day, from 3:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Sometimes for an hour or so in the late evening around 9 or 10 PM but not every day. I'm not sure if this is to "save" water or if its because of problems in the water lines, I suspect the latter.
|Fun fact: The room is being lit in this pic|
by a light connected to this same battery.
With the dry season also comes wind, and more power outages as a result, so we've made an upgrade to our UPS. After watching some youtube videos, learning to solder, and voiding the warranty we've upgraded it with a 12 volt deep cycle car battery in place of the smaller 12 volt battery that came with it. With the internet router, laptop, and LED lights for the workspace running at about 50 watts total I shouldn't have anything to worry about if I get up in the morning without electricity.
I'm always impressed with how willing people here are to try new things mechanically, especially things that go against the user manual of any given device. The results are often even more impressive. I would have been afraid to try something like this before but following the example I've been able to find all kinds of fun DIY projects that have made life a bit easier here. My next goal is either upgrading to solar power, or maybe some kind of backup water system so that were not left having bucket showers (AKA the original ice bucket challenge) after 11 AM.
We also squeezed in a trip to Pearl Lagoon. We had to fix some of our marriage documents for any future residency applications we may make, so this required us to go and visit, which was something we had been wanting to do anyways. It was really nice to be back in the Atlantic coast, and it still amazes me how different the two sides of this country are. Pearl Lagoon has come a long way as well. The road into town is now mostly paved thus making the trip a lot shorter. Kukra Hill, which is a town less than an hour away now has a bank, so going to the ATM no longer requires an exhausting river trip to Bluefields. Kukra hill used to be a much bumpier ride before the road too.
I think what I miss most about Pearl Lagoon and the atlantic coast is how its never dry. Dry air and low humidity is my worst enemy. I have sore throats and I'm uncomfortable all the time in dry places. Tola is still more humid than even the raniest days in Alberta, but Pearl lagoon gets rain all year long so things never dry out. Its always green too, VERY green. The trip took us two days each way, so now were taking a few days to rest and recover.