Where are the Light Bulbs?

In a previous post, we told you about the wonderful gift that we received from Deerwood Rotary Club in Jacksonville that allowed our kids to have solar panels, batteries, a generator, and an inverter installed so that the kids would have consistent power at their house.  It is such a blessing for All Things New that our kids are able to use fans when it is hot, get water pumped to their roof when they need it, and most of all have lights at night…And that bring us to the point of this blog.

When I first arrived in Haiti, the kids were thrilled to show me the electricity at their house.  We walked around looking at all of the new equipment and they were really happy.  They showed me their fans, the switches, etc.  Everything looked great and I was excited with them.  I then returned later the next (Monday) evening as the sun was going down, and it was much darker than it should have been.  I asked the kids why they were not turning on the lights to which they replied, and this is really funny, “We do not have any light bulbs.”  

Think about that statement.  We spend thousands of dollars getting their electricity setup, but  something that would cost us $36 (for all of the light bulbs that we will need) was holding us back from truly reaping the benefits of the electricity.  In fact, the most important thing that the electricity was supposed to do was give them light when they needed it and that was the very thing that they were not receiving.  Of course, I am going into Port tomorrow to purchase the light bulbs, but I think you see my point.  A small cost, a small miscommunication, a small oversight on my part (I am the one who forgot the light bulbs) had our incredible investment operating at half capacity.  

Of course, this is just a silly thing.  In fact, any of us who were used to having electricity for our whole lives would have simply found a way to get light bulbs, or at least told someone that could have gotten them for you.  But for our kids, it was the norm to not have light so it did not affect them like it would us.  As I was thinking about this and telling Jessica the “light bulb story” tonight, a question kept popping into my mind:

I wonder how often something as small as light bulbs keeps us away from something as great as light?

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