I saw this photo in Newsweek Magazine -- Erasmus Wambus enjoying the solar powered light in his home in Kenya.
We own the small building in this photo. Our personal electrical bills -- for each of our two floors, are about $130 a month; also we pay the electricity bills for the building's hall ways, and exterior -- another $175.
The article described a woman entering her mud-walled house -- kicking off her sandals, switching on a light and a turning on small TV -- "a little miracle," she said. "My children can now study well, complete their assignments. Last term they performed excellently in their exams."
Everyday the woman has to line up the solar panel outside her home. Solar is paid for by her "lease-to-own" agreement with M-Kopa Solar, a Canadian company that delivers electricity to more than 100,000 homes in South and East Africa. Customers make a small down payment and then make daily payments of pennies a day.
Spur of the moment, I phoned a Solar Panel place and got in over my head. There were pop-up requests for my name, phone, profile, income -- the sort of questions you do not want to answer online -- plus technical questions about our building.
I talked to my husband. The co-owner of our building, actor singer John Cullum LOVES the idea. He thinks what they're doing in Kenya could done by us -- it might inspire our neighbors, the guys who own the big buildings that surround ours, and maybe their neighbors too.
So we're googling around, reading about funding, bank loans, tax credits, checking out solar energy websites, learning what we can. It might be, it could be our summer project!!!!!
Can you hear us, we singing "You are my sunshine..."