You might recall from your high school days a little thing called the “Second Law of Thermodynamics.” The term was coined by Thomas Edison. Or, perhaps Sir Isaac Newton, after he finished inventing gravity. History (or, at least my memory) is a little fuzzy on its specific origination. Anyway, whichever smarty-pants scientist came up with it, he did a bang-up job, because it is certainly still going strong today.
For those uninformed, the 2nd law of thermodynamics* states that “Everything eventually falls apart, especially if you really need it, or if it cost a lot of money.”
I was reminded of this little scientific gem recently, because we are in the process of moving back to Papua New Guinea (PNG). As we have been corresponding with our teammates, who are still in our little village in PNG and have been keeping an eye on our things while we’re gone, we have come to learn that…
- They are pretty sure that they were able to kill most of the termites that were eating the posts that hold up our house.
- Our solar batteries are nearing the end of their natural lives.
- Our chest freezer is randomly turning itself off for no apparent reason.
- Our twin-tub washing machine has recently become a twin-tub thing whose motor doesn’t work.
- The guinea pigs that I gave to one of our village friends are doing nicely, except for one, which accidently got stepped on, and then eaten.
Of course, all of these little bumps in the road are just part and parcel of living in a remote, tropical jungle. Nothing that a little elbow grease and aggravation can’t fix. Well, that would be the case anyway, if it wasn’t for the 4th and 5th “Laws of Being a Missionary”, which state that, “Anything you attempt to fix will remain broken forever,” and “Anything you attempt to replace will be impossible to acquire inside of 3 months…also, you will need to pay through your nose.”
* The 1st law is related to the 2nd, but focuses more specifically on how product warranties never actually cover the type of malfunction that your appliance is experiencing.