Most of the questions were about our housing/living situation in the jungle. We had two classes on "Missionary technology" that should have equipped me to answer these questions, however, the information was WAY over my head, and I only got to go to about half the classes. You see, as in churches everywhere, the MTC had a childcare problem. Too many kids and not enough workers. The stereotype about missionaries having lots of kids is true in most cases. I think it is because we are all too poor to afford birth control. But that is just a theory. Many of the beautiful, incredible, angelic ladies that worked in childcare had older kids that they had to get on buses to school every morning, so childcare started after the first class everyday, meaning I missed the first class everyday. I feel very confident that I missed the half that I could understand, and everyday when I walked in the door they started the lecturing in a foreign language.
Ok, so now that you know that, here are the best answers I can give to your questions. I basically just grouped them into 3 questions since most of them fit into these 3 categories:
1. Will you live in a mud hut?
No. We (and I use the term "we" very loosely) will build our own house when we get into the tribe. It will be a few steps above a mud hut. Here are some pictures of some other missionary houses....
house being built
inside of house (please notice the fans, and note that there will be 10x that in my house)
2. Will you have electricity and running water?
Yes. We will use solar panels for our energy. The solar panels will be used of course when it is sunny for power. This is the best time to use anything electrical. It is called "sun- sync" hours. But, we will also have those panels hooked to batteries that store the energy for us when it is night time or rainy. The more solar panels we have the more electricity we will have, but at $600 a pop, we will be very conservative with that energy. This leads me to the appliances question...we will use special "energy efficient" appliances like this twin tub washing machine...
and this refrigerator...
The fridge is a chest stlye fridge that uses 98% less energy than a standard fridge. Stop saying "fridge". Ok. I can also tell you all the ways to make "that thing that I will not say again, but you know what I am talking about" be more efficient. For example, cover everything, even ice cube trays. Just a helpful hint from me to you to help your "you know what" run more efficiently, save energy, save the planet and get you a high five from Al Gore. Speaking of high fives from Al Gore, our house would get us tons of those.
Now onto running water. This is one of those things that went right over my head. Basically we will get water from a fresh source nearby or collect rainwater in a tank. Either way, we have to build a tank with some height, so we can pump the water into the house. The higher it is the more "head" we have. "Head" is a good thing. That is all I know about that. Oh, and we will have a water filtration system to clean the water and keep us from getting e. coli, giardia, the plague, etc.
3. Will you have internet?
Maybe. We could purchase a satellite modem, and pay a monthly fee for service, but I think the modem costs like $2,000, so that is definitely in the "want" category and not the "need" category.
Ok, so that is the best I can do for now. I am sure some of my smarter missionary friends will read this and think I am an idiot and answered all these questions wrong. If that is the case, please correct me in the comments section, so people will know the truth. I know you want the truth. It will set you free...wait that is a different kind of truth. Sorry... out of context quote.