Ohm’s law

Let me share an observation with you.  Not a complaint, mind you.  Because the differences here are the spice of life, and we really embrace all of these things.  But they just make life interesting, and sometimes fun—and sometimes frustrating.  So anyway:  the power goes out a lot here.   And it is totally unpredictable, although so far it has been 2:1 at night.  And usually it happens during, or right after, a long day of rain.  Today, the power was out almost all day.  Which means Will couldn’t do any of his online Math curriculum because our internet connection was off.   And Heidi had to load all our frozen food out of the freezer and take it over to the neighbors, because we weren’t sure if the power would be out for 12 minutes or 12 hours (our upstairs neighbors have a portable generator and can keep their freezer going).

Often the power outages mean a cozy night gathered around our 4 inch 27 lumen battery powered REI lantern.  This is actually quite pleasant, as we read together out loud, play cards or dice games, and have some popcorn.  Luckily, our stove is gas powered so we can still cook and bake.

Now, I’m not an electrical engineer.  In fact, I am not very handy at all.  Anything involving fiddling with electrical sockets, or the fuse box, I usually leave to the experts.  Or, I consult Pappy Floyd (Grandpa) or Jeff Gray (Buddy/electrical engineer).  But in this case, I really think I have an idea as to why the power keeps going out.  I have made some careful calculations, and I have consulted Ohm’s law which says:

I= V/R  

Now understand this.  ‘I’ in this equation is the current.  ‘V’ is the voltage.  And here is the important part:  ‘R’ is the resistance.  If you understand a little algebra, as the  ‘R’ increases, ‘I’ (your current) decreases.  So what causes resistance?  Well, lots of things do, I guess.  But I’m pretty sure your wire itself causes a lot of resistance.

So, after plugging many figures into the equation, including the square root of Pi, the area of a hypotenuse triangle, and the PIN # of my bank card, I have deduced that this is the problem:




This is a typical street in La Ceiba, which is the 3rd largest city in Honduras.  This is what every corner electrical post looks like.  Again, not an expert here, but I really think this might be contributing to their electrical issues.  Jeff, chime in here if I’m wrong.

Electrical wires in the States:  large diameter, and less lines.  I wonder how heat and humidity play into this.  Anyone?

Pop quiz.  Can you think of a place where the lights are always on?  Where they literally never turn them off, day or night, 24/7, 365 days a year?  Right, the hospital.

Here was our hospital last night:


The hospital has a back-up system, a diesel-run generator that has enough fuel to run for 12 days.  It automatically kicks in within 10 seconds of the power going off.  In fact, the other night I was sewing up a fella’s leg when the lights went off.  I think he was a little worried, but I reassured him with an ‘un momento,’ and 7 seconds later the lights popped back on.  I’m actually not sure why the generator didn’t kick back on last night.  I know that there were a bunch of handy, fix-it type guys milling about the apparatus, and when I awoke this morning the power was back on.  Yay for smart electrical folks!

Ok, on to some pics…


The cat found an interesting lizard in the front yard.


The boys caught him, and Will was petting him. It was shortly after this that Dave, our neighbor who has lived here for years, came down and told us that this particular lizard has a steel-trap bite and can take your finger right off. Whoopsies…


A little research informed me that this is a Basilisk Lizard, which is also known as the ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard. So named because when it is escaping, it runs standing up on its hind legs and can actually run on the water (see those big hind feet).


We found a Dunkin Donuts in La Ceiba!! Heidi was in sprinkle heaven. The place was full of gringos…


Painting done by one of the local kids, hanging in the hospital


Juliet poses with mom’s hibiscus plant


This is a really cool snake I saw yesterday. Usually, you are supposed to run from any snake here. But I was pretty certain this one was benign. It is called a Green Vine Snake, and it looks exactly like a vine. Cool thing: when I got up close to it, it froze, but then it started swaying it’s head back and forth. It looked just like a leaf, flittering in the breeze. God is so creative…


We bought these from a dude on the side of the road


As I was unloading supplies from the back of the rig, after a grocery run to La Ceiba, I noticed this box in which they put some of our goods. Ah yeah, baby, Palm Springs of Washington. representin’ all over the world, Yakima.


This is a not an untypical scene in La Ceiba




11 thoughts on “Ohm’s law

  1. MaryLynn says:

    I love reading all your posts! So reminds me of life in Bolivia! Heidi, are you over your fear of spiders yet? I’m sure there’s a lot more interesting creatures to be afraid of! Also, it brings me great joy to see Heidi with a donut! Lots of love and prayers for you friends!!


  2. Kimberly Ruck says:

    Your story about the lizard reminds me of the frogs that Christopher was playing with, in Fiji, where David’s mother took us in 2008. After he had been playing with them for a bit, we learned that they were poisonous. Yipes!


  3. MF says:

    Hey my what’s app is down. Well my phone is completely down as JJ dropped it on it’s face. The replacement phone is problematic, so I am sending that one back and I am awaiting another. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know the Sentra is done.


  4. Marcus Fry says:

    Hey, my Whatsapp is down mostly because JJ dropped the phone and the replacement one is bad. so still working on getting a new cell.
    Tell Heidi the check has been issued.
    Everything is well here. I will have JJ post here to connect with Will a bit more often until I am back with a phone.


    • rmoults says:

      Hey man, got your messages. Thanks so much for handling that for us, that was a real load of stress of our backs. hope it wasn’t too much of a hassle. Please send our Legal bills to honduras. 😉
      Heidi and I are actually away for the weekend at a hotel, for our 17 yr anniversary. kids are staying with some of the other missionaries. Fun to get away for a little relaxation… Talk to you guys soon, we’ll call with the kids. Take care!


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