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Lightening Vs Technology

March 14, 2012

Hectic morning; interrupted lunch, hot, sultry afternoon ~ so when I saw the afternoon thunderstorm come down from the slopes of Mt Bosavi and appear to be heading towards Walagu, I decided to take a bit longer rest time and just read until the storm passed. Then I would get up and get back to computer work. Because the storm did seem to be headed directly our way, I did disconnect the antenna from the radio, and unplug a small net book from the invertor. As I was reading & sweating, suddenly, there was a huge crashing CRACK. I yelped very loudly, shut my eyes, and just cowered for a few moments. I had no doubt, my house had just been struck by lightning! After getting a bit calmer, I re-opened my eyes and began to look for flames. Did I need to run out of the house? What to grab on the way? Ah, relief, No flames, so look for other damage in the house.

Outside, the antenna wire to the south burned off at box, hanging on just the north side (cannot really even see part that would still be in tree.) It looked like the regulator was not working. Some of the lights would work, but not others. I was also concerned that the pump did not work.

Amazingly, we had only in the last few months started having cell phone coverage: some days it works, some days it does not. That Monday the 13th, we had Digicel coverage. I was so glad. I was able to call the tech guys at Ukarumpa and talk with them about what I would need to check and do. I was also able to speak with my administrator. He sent out some prayer requests on my behalf.

I borrowed the regulator from the literacy office. That at least got me some power going again. With the working regulator, the water pump once again worked.

Here is the list of what was destroyed or damaged: the radio antenna, diodes in one of the solar panels, regulator (connection between solar panels & batteries), radio (and maybe the modem – could not check in village) and the net book computer. It seems as though the radio and net book were fried by the electrical field, although disconnected from direct contact. I could not test the modem without the radio & antenna, so I brought it back to be checked also. Later the amazing story of how I was helped!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Heather Handloff permalink
    March 15, 2012 3:29 pm

    Not sure if commenting will work from my phone, but just want to say, I praise God you weren’t hurt! And thanks for persevering in your work and in starting to fill us in on what’s been happening. Hope you are still getting whatever rest and refreshment you need.

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