The environment in Cameroon is hard on things. It’s hard on clothing. Our clothes wear out, fade out, molds from humidity and elastic crumbles quickly. It’s hard on metal. The high humidity makes metal things rust, get brittle and stop working. It’s hard on plastic. The strong sun makes plastic things get brittle, top layers start to flake off and the color fades quickly. It’s hard on batteries. One can’t leave batteries in items because the batteries will leak out and it doesn’t matter if they are a name brand like Duracell or cheap no brand name batteries. Toys quickly become unusable due to leaking batteries.
I’ve kept a collection of can openers. Since November 2012, we’ve put three can openers out to pasture. They stopped turning or stop breaking through the metal on the can or the knob won’t turn. I ordered a can opener that so far, has worked well.
We were very blessed while in Language Study in France, to be offered to purchase all belongings from a couple who were leaving Cameroon. One of the items was a wall clock. We were happy that the clock has worked so well for us; four years. Unfortunately this clock was no match for Jonah using it as a target for his Nerf gun and when it took a direct hit on the hands from a Nerf bullet, it was broken beyond repair.
The next day, we purchased a new wall clock that worked for less than 24 hours before it stopped working. It would tick and then the second hand would tick in place a while before moving along, so the clock wasn’t keeping time.
A few days later, we purchased another wall clock. This clock worked for just over 24 hours before it started to delay in time. At first it was a five minute difference, than ten before it stopped ticking all together.
We tried taking the clocks back for an exchange or refund, but since they would tick some when a battery was in, they wouldn’t accept it for an exchange or refund.
The housing helper at the main campus for our organization purchased in bulk, wall clocks to replace non-working wall clocks on the campus. David asked if he would purchase one for us when he purchased more.
So far, we now have a working wall clock. It’s kept time for a few days in a row and we’re hopeful it will last for years.
Getting functioning clocks at RFIS has been the bane of Ron’s existence. We had the same trouble with locally bought clocks. So he finally ordered some from Ikea 🙂 They work like a charm and are not expensive!