Electric Windows: Update #15

Published June 8, 2011

Does anyone out there remember crank windows? You know, those fool-proof handles that you turn around and around a few times to raise and lower the window? They should be a standard feature on every vehicle in South Sudan. I’m serious. Power Windows? Push-button convenience my butt. We arrived in Bor to discover the creaky rear passenger window motor finally gave up the ghost. Any guesses whether the window was up or down? Think there’s a Toyota dealer within 100 miles with a replacement? Ha.

So, apart comes the door. I only brought a handful of tools, but managed to get access to the lift mechanism. I thought maybe giving it a helping hand – literally – would make some upward progress. No such luck. I travel with a multi-meter. Yes. Let that sink in. I travel with a multi-meter. Anyway, the lift motor had power to it, so the problem was definitely in the motor itself. The only thing to do now was disassemble the lift mechanism and raise the window manually. It was actually easier than I thought it would be. It’s always easier to take something apart than put it back together. I raised the window into position and secured it around the edges with duct tape. I have earned my first stripe as a bush mechanic!

We’re in Bor tonight, and the community leaders have surrounded Michael. I’m sure I’ll get a briefing, but right now business is being conducted in Dinka. As far as we know, the truck with the foundation has reached Jalle. Though we have no way of confirming this due to Jalle being the ultimate “out of network” zone. Denis and a few of his GDC co-workers will be driving up tomorrow. I’m not sure what kind of reception we’ll get, I don’t know if news has reached Jalle that we’re postponing construction. The plan – amazingly unchanged from yesterday – is still to do some experiments with the helical piers on site and secure the material for the 4 month wait.

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