Our First Big Solar Install

In early-November, Lumi completed our biggest solar system installation ever!…which happened to be Jesse and my first solar system installation since arriving.

The system is for a Christian school in Gulu that is run by a ministry in Gulu. This ministry is AWESOME! They do discipleship, leadership development, run a home for vulnerable children, primary school, and medical services for children with special needs (including speech and physical therapy).

They are located in a part of Gulu that has no access to the grid. They asked the local electric utility how to get connected and were told that if they paid about $40,000 USD for the connection (utility poles, wires, etc) they would connect them now, and charge them the regular monthly rates. OR they could wait about 5 years or longer for the connection to be developed. Fortunately, they were able to receive a grant for $10,000 to install a solar system and a back-up diesel generator. Jesse, Taban, and Thomas were able to design a system that powered all their needs (with some room to expand for about 5 years) for $9,000!

Here are some photos of the installation.

Installing the panel brackets

Installing the panel brackets on the main building. Taban and Innocent are on the roof, Jesse is on the ladder.

Connecting the panels

Taban and Innocent are wiring the panels together. That is HOT roof, too!

Nearly done

Finished up the smaller building!

The installation took about 5 days, and was a great opportunity to connect with more of our Ugandan coworkers!

Update:

We still have not moved into our house yet, BUT the work on the house is going really well! We have had electricians (Innocent and Taban, actually!), plumbers, carpenters, masons, and more in the house for over a week now! Most of the big things should be finished up on Wednesday. We will likely move in Monday.

Unfortunately, this means that Jesse and I have been pretty much of house-duty for the last 2 weeks. We did get a small system installed in the coffee shop -slash- guest house that we are currently living in, and Jesse has sized about 3 more solar systems in his evening hours.

Thanksgiving was yesterday, and I have to say, it makes my Top 5 Thanksgivings of All Time list. Gulu held it’s first 5k Turkey Trot in the morning, followed by a pancake breakfast! Oh MAN! I was SO excited about that! Jesse and I “ran” the 5k and ate “pancakes”. =) In the evening, the place we are staying at hosted their 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner with over 60 people! It was GREAT! It has been really fun to teach Ugandans and non-American expats about Thanksgiving, too. Explaining a Turkey Trot was kind of difficult, actually. Then we Skyped family in the evening and watch a bit of American Football. It was a great Thanksgiving.

Prayer Requests

– Grateful that we are adjusting to life here and finding community!

– Safety and protection while driving in Uganda (especially as incidents of theft increase as we approach Christmas).

– Grateful for a home and that we can move in soon!

– Grateful that our visas/permits have been granted by the government of Uganda!

– Lumi is in a critical phase right now as the capital raise and trial are going. Please pray for Lumi, and it’s founder, Thomas.

– Please also pray for confidence for us. Sometimes things are very overwhelming here…like being regularly asked for money for some emergency, or to give someone a job, or a handout, the daily cultural misunderstandings, the “weird stomach issues” that seem to come each week, getting the house ready (and dealing with all the bugs and critters that go along with that), and all the other daily stuff that comes with living here. But yesterday, Thanksgiving, was such a great reminder that we’re ok. That a TON of things are going really well. And most importantly, that God is in control even in a place where we don’t know what to expect or how to respond.

Thanks so much for following along with us on this journey.

Please let us know how we can be praying for you!

~Rachel (& Jesse) Geiger

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One thought on “Our First Big Solar Install

  1. Hi Rachel and Jesse,

    It was so neat reading about this project. You guys really are doing great from all appearances. I will pray for confidence but also for wisdom and grace as you maneuver the many “asks”.

    Last Wedn we drove the 7 hours to my dad’s place in Nebraska. Scott and Fiona, who live with us, and Andi and Jen from Minnesota also made the trek. Thursday my niece hosted our Jacobsen Thanksgiving which included everyone but Katrina, a police office nephew who had to work, and another nephew. Was a lot of fun! It was about 75 minutes from my dad’s and Scott had a flat tire on the way so we did have a little excitement. Since all the stores were closed he had to return to Kearney to put new tires on the car the next day.

    Friday our kids and we along with my 2 brothers and their wives spent the day at Dad’s so we had lots of time to catch up before and after the Nebraska Cornhusker football debacle! But there are so many real things to be thankful for that we didn’t let it get us down!

    Praying God’s peace for you today. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Is. 26:3

    Jake

    PS Anything you need or I can do?

    _____________________________________ LEANN CUSTER WorldVenture Cell Phone: 719.323.1981

    ________________________________

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