We have all heard (or in the case of old grandpas – told) the story of the three little pigs many times. These three piggy brothers ventured out into the world to build homes and find their fortunes. The first little pig built his house of readily available straw, the second built a shelter of sticks, and the third invested in solid building material. And the wolf came… yadda, yadda, yadda.
Well, recently Mary and I have been very grateful that Pepe (our landlord) built our home of solid concrete and bricks!
Carrie was visiting at our home for two weeks and, again gratefully, it was not until the morning of her departure that an electrical breaker in our house tripped and disconnected power to all of the outlets except for those in the kitchen. The breaker would not reset, so we just switched it all of the way off and left it. We were already packed and ready to leave for the Guayaquil airport, and since the power to the refrigerator/freezer was not affected, we simply notified Jacinto that we would need an electrician after we returned on Tuesday.
When we got home I tried the breaker again and it momentarily reset and tripped again. Veronica assured us that she would get an electrician to come up to see what the problem was, so we waited patiently until Wednesday when we heard a motorcycle pull into the parking area. Frederico and Veronica had come to see what the problem was.
Frederico is a young man who is a maestro electrician and Veronica manages the Macedonia complex for Pepe. Frederico also serves as a volunteer firefighter (bombero) and I have visited with him many times. He always has a bright smile and seems to love life. He first replaced the breaker and added two more breakers to the panel dividing the load from the outlets to three circuits. This seemed to correct the problem, for when we switched on the breakers, electricity returned to all of the outlets. Frederico and Veronica left and all was well for a few hours.
Mary and I both heard what sounded like clicking sounds in the wall of the living/dining room area and then one of the recently replaced breakers tripped off. We called Veronica and about an hour later she and Frederico motored back up to the parking lot. With the outlets divided up into three sectors now, it was short work to locate the problem. Frederico removed the covers from the outlets in the dining area and we could smell the lingering odor of singed wiring. He gave the wires a tug and this is what came out.
A closer look shows that the wire had frayed and burned through burning the plastic coating and some of the PVC conduit.
Remember that Frederico is also a bombero who has responded to many house fires and you can appreciate how funny it was watching him replace the damaged wiring while he explained that a bamboo or wooden house would have burned down with a similar problem. He was laughing away as he explained that there would have been an, “Incendio!” but for the solid brick and concrete encasing the burned wires.
Indeed you could see the smoke residue on the outled box.
Frederico imitated the sound of a firetruck’s alarm as he removed the wire from two walls in the front room. Part of the conduit was so damaged that he had to chip through the solid brick and concrete to run the new wire.
So, the happy ending is that the mean old wolf (the electricity) huffed and puffed, and huffed and puffed, but could not burn down the house of stone!
And Mary and John lived happily ever after!
Speaking of fire…
Guess what is smoking away on our back patio this morning…
Today turkey (pavo) and Thursday pork (cerdo)!
Yes Carrie, those are real turkey legs. Sorry we could not find them while you were here. But we will think of you as we eat freshly smoked turkey in our house of stone tonight here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!