The guesthouse we stayed in on Buvuma Island, painted inside and out to cover earthquake damage repairs.

Continuing the tale from our last post, we arrived at the guesthouse on Buvuma Island in Lake Victoria on Saturday afternoon to find the always- promised three precious hours of evening electricity unavailable because of generator repair issues. We were invited to use our own generator, which proved to be too small for the load and blew a seal – there we were without lights OR a generator to run our own program on Monday.

But, all is darkest before the dawn, or even before bedtime in this case –

The view from our room each morning.

we got a replacement generator even before we entered the church I was scheduled to preach at the next morning. I casually mentioned to the hosting pastor that we were working on generator issues, and he graciously promised us the use of one of the generators he uses in his little shop near the ferry landing before we had walked the thirty steps from the vehicle to the church doorway. We ended up using his generous generator all week for the training – a truly fine kingdom provision.

Now for the rest of the tale about the guesthouse.  About the same time on Sunday that the guesthouse manager finally arrived from the mainland with his repaired generator, to his consternation so did a troupe of workers with a large truck and many bags of cement and cans of paint. The owner of the guesthouse, who does not live on the island had scheduled major renovation work for this week on the guesthouse, but failed to inform his manager, who spent the afternoon on the phone with his boss clarifying what all these workmen were doing there.

Huge cracks left in the walls after the earthquake.

Well, about a year ago, the island experienced a severe earthquake. The walls of the guesthouse took a beating with large cracks up the walls and across the ceilings, some sections offset from each other along the crack line by as much as 1/8   to 1/4 inch. The crew began tearing into the walls with hand tools, sometimes removing only the plaster, other times completely cutting through the walls, brick and all. Within hours of their arrival, there was debris piled in the hallways and dust hovering throughout the building and even penetrating the closed door of our room and coating everything we had left exposed. This went on all week and was still going on when we left on the following Saturday. We would leave to go to our conference in the morning, return about 6 pm, and spend 30 minutes “un-dusting” our room every day.

The benefit to the guesthouse of all this chaos is that it gets a hugely needed face-lift with every surface, I hope, painted freshly inside and out, which was desperately needed, by the way, even without an earthquake to

BEFORE -This was a crack all the way through the plaster and brick that they dug out by hand

motivate them. The building had fallen into a sad state of brokenness and despair that even seemed to touch the three person staff, no longer the friendly greeters that they once were, but recently somewhat hopelessly sullen as if the future of their jobs was slowly disappearing before their eyes. Now, I expect, they will perk up as business gradually returns to the refurbished hostel.

AFTER – The same crack now filled with new cement.

The benefit to us is that our traditional Buvuma roost will receive the attention that will make for more pleasant stays in the future. I have to admit, even we were getting a little depressed in that broken-down, “go-ahead-hit-me-again” atmosphere oozing from the pores of the place the last few times we’ve stayed there. Unfortunately, there is only one other choice on Buvuma Island at the moment – a new guesthouse up on the top of a hill overlooking the lake – and they have captured the corporate business from the local palm-oil developer who is planning big things for Buvuma (see previous posts on that subject) and is willing to pay corporate rates to the guesthouse. We stayed there last time with a great discount that the bishop wangled for us, but this time the rate was 2 ½  times higher with no grace, so we returned to our old haunt as described here.

The pictures tell the tale, so I will stop here and let you read the captions.

This repair was all the way through outside and inside. A little paint and no one will ever know it happened…