15 February 2011

Today everyone gathered at our place to finish installing the solar panels.  The electrician/plumber that worked on our house during construction came up with another electrician.  Jim was here to oversee the whole process.  Angela and Jose came to celebrate the occassion with us.  The guys were out in the battery room (soon to be sewing room) and the women sat out on the terrace.  It was a very warm day; the terrace is usually the coolest spot in the house.  We also used the pool to cool off.

We were so thankful that Jose was here.  Even though he feels his Spanish is inadequate (it’s not), he translated between Doug and Jim ant the Peruvian electricians.  Jose didn’t necessarily have the technical vocabulary, but was always able to get information across.  Jim speaks quite a bit of Spanish, but Jose made things so much easier!

It became evident in the early afternoon, that we did not have all the right parts to make the final connection.  Originally we were provided a 120V converter with the system.  As Peru runs on 220V, this wasn’t going to work.   The company then sent us a “fix” which was a converter that would step up to 220V.  However, when the guys had this wired up, it didn’t function as a converter, but as a balancer which would prevent spike in energy from damaging any components.  The company in the US said the guys had not wired the component correctly and provided us with another schematic.  However, the schematic was for a different model than the one we had…..  Yeah, that’s how the day went.  We are still waiting to see what the true fix will be.

Needless to say, we didn’t get the system up and running.  Bummer!!

In the evening, we took Chairman to the vet to be spayed.  My friends told me the best way to transport a cat was in a pillow case.  I knew this was the mode of transport for a snake, but never though about it for the cat.  She didn’t like being stuffed into a pillow case and let us know about it.  As I held the pillow case at arms length, I watched as Chairman’s claws came through the fabric as she tried to escape.  I kept her at a distance, but let her down on the seat of the car as we drove into town.  She howled and squirmed, but we made it to the vet’s without incident.

Once there, the vet and I extricated her from the pillow case and he did his initial examination.  He told me she had a small fever but thought it was because of the stress.  He wanted to put off the surgery for a couple of hours to see if this was the case.  He also was waiting for a third (yes, third) vet to assist in the operation.  I held Chairman for more than an hour; a record for her!  I should have introduced her to the pillow case a long time ago.  She was very cuddly, very unlike her.  The vet finally had a kennel to put Chairman into while they awaited the surgery.  She didn’t much like this either.

It wasn’t a very successful day…frustrating.  We spend about $800 a month on deisel to power the generator.  Obviously,we are anxious to get it up and running.


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