I do not know what comes to your mind when you hear the word “power’ I think of waves pounding the coastal shore from the winter storms, or water falling hundreds of feet from the top of a dam or the mighty power it takes to send up a space shuttle or the words to an old Christian hymn….

There is power, power wonder working power in the blood of the lamb
There is power, power wonder working power in the precious blood of the lamb…..

……….for the Ugandans power means electricity….. Yes, Kibaale will be getting electricity. Those traveling back and forth from Rakai to Kibaale have been watching one pole after another being raised in a long line of electrical poles….. just this week poles were brought into Kibaale Community Centre….on the back of a small pick up truck and are up behind the present generator house. So, it begins….. I have been told that the centre will have power by the end of August or early September…. but this is Africa and who knows for sure when that magical date will be…..

Nevertheless….. power is coming and that means change. I am excited and also very sad…

When I first arrived there was solar power a few hours a day and I got comfortable with the lack of light and electrical appliances…. I was happy that my computer’s battery was always able to be charged. Then we got a small generator for the clinic…. and the some of the housing. I had power each evening from about 7 to 11 pm but this power never seemed to work well…. it would go on and off and on and off and on and off frequently throughout the evening so I always had a flashlight right be side me…. In the day time the power was much better and it was necessary for the health and well-being of the patients. No lab work can be done without power and so the clinic staff would come to me if the power has not come on by 10 am…..I had to go and find the person responsible, check to see if there was fuel and hope all would go well…. there are always problems… so the staff see these poles as hope, better quality of life and health and the opportunity to watch TV…..

A few months ago…. as I was cleaning out the clinic I found a massive TV in a box on top of one small desk in one small office…. there was no room for anything in the room because the TV took up all the space…. At that time, I had to laugh…. why did anyone buy a TV when there was NO POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(I put the TV in safe storage).

Now that power is coming and changes will arrive….. but as much as I want these changes and need these changes, I am sad……… one of my favourite things about Kibaale is the silence… the quietness from all the human noises… no horns honking, no police and ambulance sirens, no screaming and yelling from the family across the courtyard, no deafening music from the next door neighbour…

I have come to love the sounds of Africa….. the music, the serenading of the birds, crickets, frogs and everything else who wants to sing with the coming of night…. My fears are that these sounds will be lost forever and this silence which I so love will be gone….

There is always a price to pay for change….. I do not know if the people of this area are ready or able to understand what these changes will mean and what they will loss….. there will be a great price to buy….. but will it all be worth it…… only time will tell.

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