The biggest hurdle we had was explaining to UMEME where we lived. There are no street names here away from the roads connecting major towns. There are no house numbers. Everything is surveyed of course for legal purposes so we have a village name and a plot number - we just don't know what they are.
In my conversations with the UMEME folk over Twitter I sent them a lat/long (0.326788N, 32.444584E in case you were wondering). Then I sent them a screen capture of the location in Google Earth. Twice after this we had technicians asking on the phone where we lived. Finally I gave them our landlord's phone number and he must have been able to direct them because at 9 pm last night the power flickered then came back on - it is still on as of Saturday afternoon. Our fridge has beer and meat again!
Some clever folk have come up with a system for situations like this: what3words gives every location on earth (each 3m x 3m square) a unique 3 word address. The middle of our compound is unstated.palace.flexed (or maoni.kufuga.miwani in Kiswahili). The what3words app could be on every UMEME computer and technicians smartphone. This problem would be solved. Yes they could do the same thing with their phone GPS apps but giving a lat/long over the phone and expecting it to be accurately recorded and plugged into the app is asking a lot. An incorrect digit could put you in another country. Three clear words is a neat, less error-prone system.
So when you come to visit just remember to knock on the gate at unstated.palace.flexed. With luck the lights will be on when you arrive.
|The courtyard garden at unstated.palace.flexed. Note the two trees and the birdbath (so far unsullied by birds).|
|Jenny shopping at height.speech.acted - Mama Goreti's shop, our corner store..|