Some cliché about opportunity and preparation may be an inspiring match here, but it doesn’t belong. I have simply had a streak of coincidentally spectacular days.
I wanted to show you some pictures to convey my situation, but per usual, my internet is not cooperating. Dear readers, I have electricity. The 6-month era of going without; of being confined to an extension cord from my window sprawled across my house; of maddening surge protector explosions; and of constantly swapping one outlet between fridge, stove, and water heater… that time is over. The page has been turned and I have a new home life that includes the convenience of electricity from my own walls.
As with most things in the developing world, this is still a work in progress. The lights are not yet fully operational, and I’m told I may have to endure a time without electricity again while waiting for the meter box to be installed. I am counting this as a victory for now, though the story has not finished.
My good friend pointed out that the integrity of my carbon footprint took a dip today, and I suppose she’s right. I have my fridge, lamp, and computer plugged in (all at the same time). I feel wonderfully consumptive, and guilt will not join me tonight. Indeed, my hopes of a stint as the Kalahari version of Johnny Appleseed have been realized as well. After a few weeks of persuasion, I was told DEBSWANA had donated 55 young orange trees to my support group and the Rakops community for my distribution. At first I was so excited something went right that I didn’t stop to think about what to do with all those saplings. The hurdle was, and forever will be, transport. Another stroke of luck got us there after only one day of searching.
Pragmatically, that many fully-grown trees won’t fit in a 40m2 plot of land, which is also intended for future offices and a vegetable garden. The timeline for this has been rushed, so the planning can’t exactly be described as thorough. Luckily, it was one of those times that an acquaintance reveals himself as a competent and passionate partner – a local Boy Scout troop leader agreed to help me. His troop is active, consisting of a small group of youth who will take some of the trees to their families and simultaneously earn a tree-planting badge. There will be plenty left for the support group’s plot and for my members to each take a couple home. I’m hoping for a little more of that luck, as the pending rains decide when to begin their extended engagement; water is another obstacle.
Additionally, I think I’m on track to get a small funding award from a national bank. The donor will likely help us cover some operational costs, though we’ll see how it unfolds. I can’t imagine another time when so many things will go right in such a short time, but collectively these are the kinds of highs that offset the more common lulls in activity, making this a journey worth taking. I’m told the holidays bring a month of true idle, so I think this will sustain me through that. I have something to keep my members (and myself) busy through that time, and my sister will be here in exactly 30 days to share it with me.
It’s rare for me to sound so resoundingly elated here, so just sit back and enjoy it with me. We’ll keep the struggles on the periphery for now.