Fresh Water!

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Feb 072007
 



It’s 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. It’s been overcast all day and it finally started raining. This should be rainy season in the Solomons, but this year there hasn’t been much rain.


We’ve had some light showers over the past few weeks but today it was a heavier rain. After the rain fell for 5-10 minutes, I went outside and connected the downspout to our fiberglass rainwater tank. We usually wait to connect the downspout to the tank until after the rain has washed the leaves and debris off the roof and out of the gutter. That way we get much cleaner water that we don’t need to filter.


This water tank supplies our drinking water which we carry up to the house in containers. There is town supplied water with pressure in the house, but we never drink that as it can’t be trusted to be potable. The tank has screens over the openings in order to keep the tank from becoming a mosquito breeding ground. (Finding mosquito larvae swimming in your drinking water is NOT nice!)

We are thankful to be drinking the rainwater again because it is so clean tasting. We could taste the chemicals in the treated tap water we drank in the USA.

Snap, Crackle and Pop

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Jan 312007
 




With termites on our minds these days, when Tim found a soft spot in our living room floor, he starting investigating. Yes, the termites are in at least one floor board in our living room. Sigh. The incredible thing is that you can actually hear the little stinkers chewing away! They make a crackly sound similar to the snap, crackle and pop of Rice Krispies. Emily has her head to the floor for a listen, but actually they are loud enough to hear even if you are sitting on the floor near the spot.

The company that handles the extermination is waiting for a shipment of new chemicals to arrive including some termite baits which we will put under the floor boards. The helpful termites are supposed to carry the chemical back to the nest where it will kill the queen termite and hopefully we will wipe out another termite colony.

Sometime we will have to have a carpenter replace the floor boards and sand it down. It won’t be easy to varnish it so the repair isn’t obvious. Please pray that we will get to the bottom of the termite problem!

Jan 302007
 

Our washing machine has made quite a lot of trips to the repair shop over the last couple of years, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to find out this week that it wasn’t worth repairing after a recent breakdown.

In Honiara there are not a lot of options for buying appliances. There are some smaller stores that sell imported goods of questionable quality from Asian countries, but there is really only one store where you can buy imported Australian appliances of reputable quality.

This afternoon we went to that store to see what our choices were. There was only one brand available and 2 different models to choose from. We decided on the larger copacity one because we can wash our curtains and larger items and it wasn’t a lot more expensive than the slightly smaller one. The store did agree to give us a small discount and deduct what we had paid for the last repair on the old machine because it still didn’t work. $821.00 US dollars later we had a new washer. It’s not fun spending that much money when you weren’t counting on it, but not being able to shop around for a better price or a different choice makes the shopping experience harder!

Yesterday we took our TV into a repair shope to have the wobbly RCA jack resoldered. The TV still worked, but we had to find ways to hold plugs into the jack so they would make a good contact. The repairman said it would probably be ready in the afternoon. When the Tim went to pick it up, the repairman said that now it wasn’t working at all and it might not be repairable. Today the news is that it needs a new part and may be repairable. The part will have to be ordered from Australia before we know if the TV can indeed be repaired. In the meantime it’s one less distraction. I guess we can go watch the washer spin…

What the Geico Guy Doesn’t Tell You

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Jan 292007
 

In the USA we were inundated with commercials with the little green gecko representing Geico insurance. I guess geckos are cute, if you don’t have to live with them all the time.

Here in the tropics, geckos live inside the house. They can often be seen scurrying around the walls and heard making a little clicking noise. At night they gather on the outside of screen windows enjoying a feeding frenzy of insects who have been attracted to the light.

When Tim and I lived in Papua New Guinea, we had lots of geckos on the outside of our screens at night. Sometimes we would flick the gecko from the inside of the screen while announcing in our theatrical voices, “Geckos in space…” as they flew off the screen into the dark night. (Missionaries in remote places can be easily entertained.)





The not so nice part of geckos are the little ‘poop’ they leave around the house. The other less than cute part is the eggs. They love to find very small dark spaces to lay their little eggs.

This afternoon I took down a metal tubular curtain rod to put up a curtain. As I lowered the rod to the floor, I heard the ominous rattle of gecko eggs rolling down the tube and the crunch of them hitting the floor and breaking. Yuck. Another joy of housekeeping in the tropics! : )

Bookworms? No, termites!

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Jan 252007
 







As we unpack, we are finding more things that the termites have gotten into. This morning it was paperback books. As you can see, they look a bit like Swiss cheese. I’m thankful they didn’t touch my wooden recorder which was sitting on the same shelf. I guess the books were easier to chew.

Many boxes have been unpacked now, but there is still much to be done. We are starting to see some progress and the kitchen is nearly functional, but does anyone know where we packed our glasses and mugs?