After yesterday’s relaxation, today was due to be one of catching up on paperwork, typing up notes and organising photos and film clips. All things which need to be done, but perhaps the less glamorous side of a field trip!
However, as I climbed out of bed and out from under the mosquito net, I realised that all was not well with the world. Firstly the fan was not working, which was making the room unbearably hot and sticky, and secondly my mobile phone and other electrical equipment had failed to charge their batteries. The laptop was dead after turning it on and opening a document. The video camera had a flashing battery light, and my mobile phone was heading that way too. It looked like very little work would get done at this rate.
It turned out that the electricity didn’t return to the house until after 6pm, long after it had turned dark outside. It made me chuckle, as we tried to join in with the house group worship, that Pemba had the widest coverage and most reliable electricity supply we’ve come across so far. Many of the villages we’ve visited have no electricity at all, and by comparison Pemba is dependant upon it. Yet here in town we were having to go back to basics.
Some of the projects we’ve seen so far are reliant upon volunteers who need to keep in touch. They’ve been given mobile phones for this vital contact. But with no electricity they have to find another power source to recharge the phone’s battery. So the volunteers are given small solar panels to harness and use the sun’s mighty power. Every day the rises and shines – even on a cloudy day it is very bright here in Mozambique. Yet there are very few solar panels used here, except when absolutely necessary out in the bush.
It got me thinking about my power source, about what I plug into to recharge my batteries. Do I get my strength from the dependable Son who is always there, never fails and can bring hope and energy, even on dark or dull days? Or do I plug myself into the more worldly things – TV, films, radio, hobbies, other people, facebook, shopping, food etc. which are not necessarily bad, but are not always reliable and can let me down.
More often than I would care to admit, I think it is the latter, the worldly things which I go to first to restore my energy and power. Maybe I should use this time away from electricity to go back to basics in my spiritual life too.