And we have power.
I have been here more than 2 weeks now and since I first arrived I have wanted to get the new power dill up and working. I was determined to do it. I was secretly afraid that if I didn’t the set would sit in a corer somewhere, gathering dust, until a rainy day…..
It took a week to find a cord adapter – one that would attach the cord I brought to the compressed air outlet on the wall. Finally, we crossed that hurdle, late last week. With the drill attached to the wall I turned the power on, anxiously waiting for that oh-so-familiar sound and …… nothing……. The charge nurse, Wirknish, tells me we forgot to turn on the air supply to the room. She takes me to the main line in the hallway – there is no pressure reading. She turns the hand- valve – it won’t budge. She gets a large hammer and proceeds to hit the valve to try to encourage it to move. I don’t think this is a good idea but I stand by and watch, taking a step backwards just in case. The valve doesn’t move an inch. She tells me to wait while she tracks down one of the engineers. I didn’t realize that we had engineers. He repeats the same process that she just had, hammer and all. I thing there must be an error in the translation of the word “engineer”. He leaves telling me that he will return. I am unclear when.
Later that afternoon Wirknish tells me that the air compressor is not working. It has been down for a week. She says that the engineers (or whomever they may really be) have gone to the market to try and find a replacement part. I am not sure the market is the place to go for such things but I hold my tongue. Although I am encouraged by this initiative, I know that this is not good news. It take ages for things to get fixed around here……………….
Today Wirknish reports to me that the air compressor is now working. I have my doubts. I have been here before. I instruct her to get the drill and the cords. We hook up the system and I power the drill on and I hear………… that oh so sweet sound………. I look down to see the drill head spinning. I am in awe. She is soooo proud. She deserves to be – I would have bet money that it wasn’t going to be up and running before I left. “Sterilize it for tomorrow’s case!” I order her. I am overjoyed. It seems like I will be leaving Addis on a high note…………….