This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Petrol and Fruit

Petrol is readily available in Zambia.
The stations are not located between towns but it hasn't been a problem except when exploring the bush.  It is a good idea if you are off the paved roads for a few hours to have a very full tank or an extra jerry can to get you home.

All the stations are full service but checking under the hood seems a little out of the ordinary and a small tip is appreciated but not expected.

One of my additional duties is to keep the generator at the Mission Home working.  Actually, the electricity seems to be a bit more reliable this last month or so.  At least it seemed like a while since I had filled up the jerry cans for the generator.  Here are the three cans being topped off.

Petrol in Zambia is controlled by the government.  The price of 9.2 kwacha per liter has been the price at every gas station in every town all over Zambia since we arrived last June.  That is $1.65 per liter or $ 6.24 a gallon for diesel.  ($6.74 for regular petrol).

This is the Mission Home generator.  We are fortunate to have it.  When the power drops it automatically comes on line until power is restored.  It is usually for just an hour or two but sometimes it has run for twelve or more hours.  That is Jackson the day guard who helps me pour the diesel in.

As we were pouring the diesel into the generator, something didn't look quite right to me and we stopped pouring.  I was a bit suspicious so we poured the diesel into some empty clear jugs.  This is what it looked like.

We have had a change of night guards lately.  It seems that some of these milk jugs have gone home with diesel in them and the hose was used to top off the metal cans.  Clearly, gas and water don't mix and it doesn't burn very well in an expensive generator.  Fortunately we caught it early and the filters are designed to take care of a little moisture.  The security company is supposed to be dealing with the guard and replacing the diesel.  Two liters is just short of four days pay of twelve hour shifts.  That is four days pay to fill up your milk jug at home with gasoline.  Something just isn't right and it is at times like this that I am reminded that I am living in a totally different world than the people I whiz by in my truck.  It is easy to forget - they rarely ask for very little.

Kristi keeps this bowl of fruit full all the time.  I eat it without a thought.  Just that bowl has a half day wages in it.

A new senior missionary couple arrived in Lusaka this past week.  They are the Binghams from Oakley, Idaho and also lately from North Dakota.  Their calling is "Self Reliance".  Elder Bingham's mind is already churning about ways to help our members improve their lives.  It takes a vision of the possibilities, an idea that can start small, and encouragement to see it through.  Zambia is truly a land of opportunity for those who are willing to break out of their traditions.

The fruits are everywhere and everyone should have a full bowl everyday.