Thursday, January 6, 2011

No metho in town! What will we do?

When you’re living in a village that doesn’t have electricity, you need some alternative lighting for the evenings, so Rebekah and I bought a Coleman lantern. The conventional way of lighting these lanterns is to fill the dish with methylated spirits and light it to heat up the metal rod before the whole lantern lights up.

When we were first going out to the village, we searched all over town for methylated spirits, going from one place to another following people’s suggestions, but to no avail – we couldn’t find any anywhere. So we went off to the village with our Coleman lantern and no way of lighting it – or so we thought. Local people also own Coleman lanterns and they have a way of lighting them, so they taught it to us (Rebekah really, it’s her job to look after the lantern).

What we have to do is: first remove the lid and glass part, then soak some cotton wool in kerosene (which is the fuel in the bottom of the lantern) and put it in the dish, light the cotton wool, replace the glass part and the lid and proceed as you usually would to light it.

Here are some pictures of the process…

Cotton wool burning and heating the rod:


Still heating the rod, with the glass part and lid replaced:


Finally, here is our evening hang-out spot all light up:

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