Monday, August 24, 2009

No Juice - and Skyjuice

It has been a tough week here on Andros. The Bahama Electric Company here has a diesel generator providing electricity to the island. Well it broke. They are limping along with a backup but it can't provide enough for the island so - rolling blackouts.

Without warning you simply lose all power for 4-8 hours. It may come back anywhere in that range. Once you have power it can also go away anywhere in that range.

This creates issues when its 90 degrees every day and you suddenly have no AC, no fans, nothing - especially at bedtime. Add the fact that the water system here depends upon electricity to work the water pumps. So no showers.

What makes this frustrating is its been like this since last week Thursday. The parts that they need aren't on Andros, nor are they on Nassau - and the red tape to get it from the US takes a week or more - so everyone is a bit grumpy here right now.

One impact I hadn't thought of was fuel for the van. Saturday I usually fill up for all the weekend driving we do covering 3 church and then communion calls. The man I usually get diesel was shut down by customs officials since he wasn't collecting taxes on the diesel he was syphoning from the back of his van (at the time he was the only source of diesel). When he stopped providing diesel he connected me with a gas station in town that had started carrying diesel, but with no electricity, no way to operate the pumps.

Someone suggested I go see "Phil", "He got diesel Fodder". So I get directions and end up pulling into a backyard littered with auto parts, broken windows, tools, and oil drums. Phil comes out, as do 2 of his friends, and after we had a friendly chat he pulls out the garden hose, sticks one end into one of the oil drums and sucks on it a bit, then slips it into the gas tank and the diesel fuel starts trickling into my tank.

As its filling we talk a bit more about the heat, the electric problem, how hard it is to sleep and stay cool. He said he just liked to sit on his porch with a gin and tonic and watch the starts at night. I told him it was easy to find Gin on this island but almost impossible to find tonic water. Everyone laughed at the truthfulness of that and then he said, "Fodder, if you can't find tonic, try Skyjuice - you can get that everywhere and it's very good with Gin". The other guys all nod, and smile and say "Yes, Fodder, try Skyjuice". So I ask about Skyjuice - "What's Skyjuice, I haven't seen anything like that in the stores?"

Phil looks at me and smiles, then says, "Water, Fodder - Skyjuice be water!" and everyone laughed and laughed at they joke they'd set me up for.

I told them that my father, when he was a boy in the depression used to go to the soda fountain at the drug store and ask for a pine tree float - a glass of water with a toothpick floating in it - they all got a good laugh at that one too.

Well, with power at a premium I am going to shut down before the electric company does it for me. Keep us in your prayers
--- Frank and Ginni


scubaheart said...

Very funny story about skyjuice! I so miss being on island but I don't miss the heat you are dealing with in August without fans or showers! I'll be praying for you to walk in the Spirit in spite of the heat.

Steve said...

Hi Frank and Ginni,

Steve here. I met you with Roger over by the old beach house a few weeks ago on base when the electricty went out off base. Just wanted to say hello! I enjoy reading your post keep up the good work. Hope to see you guys agin soon.

Steve Gooding