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Solar, Kilimanjaro Coffee and a Hot Shower

My electricity system here is severely limited. The small (10 inch screen) ACER computer that I use has a 12 volt adapter, thereby bypassing the need for an inverter. My iPhone that is also a “hotspot” using the app “MyWi” also uses at 12 volt adapter as does my LED light that I use to cook and to read at night. That is my complete electricity system. I’ll use it in this way for a while to see if the 60watt fold up panel is maintaining a good charge on the 100AH battery. If things continue to go well, I’ll add a couple more LED lights. Each of the five lights that I brought back with me from the states has 30 LED bulbs. They are great lights. Another part of my life here is a hot shower every morning. With water heated on the small kerosene stove, I fill a bucket with an attached shower head and hang it from the ceiling. Also, with a hand coffee grinder and the best beans from Kilimanjaro, I use my French press to have great cup of coffee every morning. Life is good at Olbalbal.

8 Responses to “Solar, Kilimanjaro Coffee and a Hot Shower”

  1. Nice to hear you are getting along so well on very simple means. It’s refreshing to read this especially since our lives are everything but simple over here.  You truly remind me of a 21st century or modern Henry David Thoreau.  Like you, he was a writer and lived out in nature…. of course, without the iPhone and electronic gadgets.  ;)  I wonder how long you can make it if the skies become overcast.  I hope the weather stays sunny.

  2. Ned on 28/01/2012 #

    Overcast skies mean little juice going into the battery. If dark days persist for three days or more, I use kerosene lamps. I think they are called hurricane lamps in your part of the world. Of course, I can continue to charge the iPhone/modem using the car lighter socket and even use the computer that way. So, these days, there are always ways of working around sunless periods. These come, especially, during the long rains, that are due to begin toward the end of next month. Here on the plains, those periods are few and far between. It is the exceptional day, even during the long rains, that isn’t mostly sunny.

  3. Heather on 28/01/2012 #

    Mmmm French press coffee is divine!  How much of Kilimanjaro is used to grow coffee?  Is it grown in a certain area?  Can you buy it at the Maasai market days?

  4. So glad you have enough power to keep this blog going, I find it so interesting as do many others.  That hot shower sounds good too and that doesn’t take any power!!! 

  5. Ned Marchessault on 29/01/2012 #

    Thanks for your comment. Not much is sold at the cattle markets but household necessities like corn, salt, rice, beans, Maasai cloth, cooking pots and that kind of stff. There is a Chagga family in Arusha that roasts the beans for me. The Chagga is the tribe that live on Kilimanjaro. Coffee is a cash crop for them and I’m uncertain as to how much of the mountain is given over to coffee trees. I have tried to roast the beans myself but I can get an even roast, some come out black and others are still raw. The Chagga people know how to get a perfectly even roast.

  6. Martha Stovall on 29/01/2012 #

    Good coffee makes everything right with the world – for a while anyway.

  7. Ned on 30/01/2012 #

    You are so right Martha. A good cup of coffed brings everything together.

  8. Ned on 30/01/2012 #

    I had serious doubts of being connected at all here at Olbalbal. As it is, my connection is better than up the mountain near the crater, although I’m further away from the cell phoned tower. Yes, it is pleassant to have a hot shower.

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