Only in Peru

21 Jul
Photo of gas valve

American valve doesn’t fit Peruvian tanks

Vicki bought me a gas grill on sale for my birthday, something which we have greatly missed. Programming intern (and erstwhile gas grill assembler) Gene put it together for me along with son Daniel. However, when we tried to connect the gas tank we use for the stove, we discovered that the valve wouldn’t fit. We called our gas delivery guy, who informed us that the style of tank that works with the valve attached to the grill cannot be purchased in Arequipa; however, he offered to replace the grill’s regulator valve with one that would work.

So we set to work trying to loosen the big nut that attached the cable to the grill. After pushing and pulling for some time, it came loose… and with it another part that shouldn’t have. He was apologetic and offered to put the assembled grill on his truck and go with me back to the store where we bought it. At the store, they told me that the grill has an American valve (no surprise, as it’s a Char-Broil model) and they don’t sell American tanks (how convenient). They didn’t have the part that broke, but thankfully offered to replace the whole grill and brought up another in the box within a few minutes.

Fast forward to Saturday. As Gene was getting ready to leave for his flight to the States, we had a few minutes to kill. Gene graciously offered to pull the replacement grill out of the box and start assembly for the second time. We got about halfway finished, I ran him to the airport, came home, finished the assembly, and then called the gas guy again. This time we messed with the cable OFF the grill so as not to break anything, but after 10 minutes of fiddling, still couldn’t get the nut loose. Now in the US I probably would have stopped there, taken the grill back, and started looking for another grill solution. But this is Peru, which means 1) there probably aren’t any other gas grills available, and 2) there is always a way.

The gas guy went to his truck and came up with a hack saw blade (no handle) and began to cut into the metal clamp that held the cable to the burner controls. It was very stubborn and he ended up having to cut all the way around, which took about half an hour, but in the end, he was able to attach a new hose with a Peruvian regulator, and TA-DA, light it up! We are happy to report that we are now “cooking with gas.” Actually, we have been all along because our kitchen stove uses the same type of gas, but now we’re doing it on the roof on the grill, which as everyone knows, is way better because we can make the neighbors jealous.

Also on the theme of “things that you can buy but not resupply,” we’ve had a really hard time finding paper coffee filters that fit the coffee makers here. The metal filter basket that came with our coffee maker works OK, but it’s messy and doesn’t filter quite as well. Note to self: when in the States, buy coffee filters! On the plus side, we’ve found some really good coffee here, grown in the highlands near Machu Pichhu. Definitely worth the inconvenience of cleaning the metal filter every day. You really should try it. Best way is to come visit us 🙂


5 Responses to “Only in Peru”

  1. Dawn July 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Or may I suggest investing in a Starbucks French press coffee maker! They make a mean cup of coffee and do not require filters. Only around $50 🙂

  2. David Chandler July 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Hmmm, will have to think about that!

  3. lorinczpete July 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Next will be a smoker, then a fire pit, then a sign saying “Welcome to the Chandler Churrascaria …tempting 🙂

  4. Millie July 21, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Buen provecho!

  5. michael CHANDLER July 27, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    Hi Da vid, I’m not replying to your email, just conveniently using your return addres.  Our church is having a missions dinner soon and the theme is South America.  I have enclosed their agenda.

    I think if you could send me a word file with your family picture and the pictures you have on your blog page and maybe some bullets on what you are doing, I could pin it up in our missions board.  It would draw interest and maybe some prayers.  Just trying to give you some press.  You might mention the graceworks link and address as well.

    Love,   Dad

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