Travel Shower or Electricity

Travel Shower or Electricity
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I was thinking, maybe I am also empathy impaired as I was mentioning about people.

I have solved many problems in my travels, that plague travelers and tourist. One of the major ones I solved a couple of years ago was the shower, how to get a shower in a place like India or Nepal, or even Europe when there is a major problem with either water or hot water.

I carry this bucket, I now have two, because I purchased another 5 gallon juice container and had them cut it off in Kpalime. I now have two of them with me. I use a one-cup coffee heater to heat when in cold climates, both ways, I take dip showers.

I can fill them up and have in my room close to 8 gallons of water to use for a dip shower. The fixer Michael appreciated the buckets on two occasions, one was when I filled up one with water so we had drinking water. The other was when he was worried about breaking his radio, I put inside the bucket, inside the backpack and it create a hard inside protection. It is really like having a hard pack, but I can remove the hard liner.

I am dwelling on my Electricity problems, I am sure one day, I will solve them and I will look back, and not talk about the problems of electricity.

Africa has exceptionally good water supply, the water is clean, good for drinking. However, it would be easy to think there is a water problem, as a person can see people carrying water all times of the day. I am guessing and I will ask some travelers, if they believe Africa has a water problem. I would think they would say yes, and up near the Sahara there is a problem.

The cost of a big tub of water cost money here, and this is different than most countries. But that is because they have public utility water and cleaner. Free bad water or possible to be bad is free. However, they must carry the water to their homes as there is no water lines to the house, and even if they was, they would all be broken, like in Mexico or Asia and they are just sucking in the bad water to the home.

This water is good, but you have to plan ahead, I do not remember having water problems in West Africa.

I have continually problems here in Togo with Electricity, I have started to work on my computer the minute I have electricity, because I cannot guarantee it will return. Plus, the batteries of Laptops to me are still just an annoying joke, meant to allow you to take notes, and shut off, not for real working.

My only prospect right now for continually electricity is this wind up light I have, it is great. It generates enough juice to stay on low all night. I have finally figured out, I need to sit and wind for about 5 minutes to really do good.

I will write Chris and see if he knows of a foot pedal type light as this hand wind up time is annoying and difficult to use for a good charge. If the power went into the computer, then I would have something, hmm, maybe I can wire up this 12 volt solar pad to charge my computer.

I figure it out, what I need is a splitter. I need a splitter that allow the cord entering my computer to either be charging from the 220 electricity or from the solar power pad. I could then plug in the solar pad to the computer, put out the window and hope nobody steals it.

What happens is this, I am in a room with Electricity, I am charging my computer. Most of the time in the room, it is plugged into the wall socket or the light bulb adapters thingy.

Then the electricity goes off, if for any reason, I leave the computer on, it will drain the battery. The hibernation feature causes me more headaches than benefits, as I lose information as it does not function correctly or I do not know how to use correctly and cannot be bothered to learn.

I have learned to turn off my computer in Africa, so not a problem.

Yes, I am charging my battery, it is plugged in, I want to know, I have 2 hours of work time. If I went to back to the border of Togo and Ghana, I could live in a room with no electricity and type away every morning for two hours. I am not sure, I think I am on the computer about 2-3 hours per day, and some days up to 5, but never really more.

Well, now I need this female plug that enter the computer to charge the battery to the computer. How will I find that? This is not so easy, there is not laptops in West Africa just hanging around and the cords to a laptop would be even more difficult to find. I can splice into the present cord and connect, yet I am not sure, this may be one of them coaxial type wound cords. I need to be 100 percent sure what type of electrical cords before I go an cut it up to connect a solar panel.

I am having trouble with electrical tape. I need to find some duct tape, to cover or use outside the electrical tape. The regular black electrical tape is having troubles. It gets hot, and start to unwind, as long as cool or cold, not a problem, but here in Africa, I am having problems. I think I can wrap up connections and then wrap with duct tape and it will hold. I will check, they do not cover up the connection here the way you would think. Duct tape is difficult to buy in many countries, not a normal on the shelf items on the planet, and very heavy to carry, I will check to see if I have a partial roll.

Travel Shower or Electricity


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