Duct tape comes in many colors.

Duct Tape Meets the Need,
Again and Again

by Marti Fisher

Usually gray, duct tape has always been multi-functional. Today, Wal-Mart shelves sport many bright colors. My favorite color? Aqua blue. I've been choosing this color and its variations for as long as I can remember.
Before we departed for Kenya, we slapped strips of blue duct tape on our suitcases to help us identify our bags from others as we watched them head to the cargo bay. Many hours later, our plane arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 9 p.m. We were in good shape. All but one of our bags made it. When asked to describe the lost bag, we advised the agent that our generic bag had no distinct markings except for a piece of aqua-blue duct tape on its side. To make the search more effective, we taped a sample of our blue duct tape to the official "missing bag form." Voilà! Two days later, we picked up our found bag in Malindi.
On our first night at the Methodist Guest House in Malindi, when I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet seat, all of a sudden, a 5-inch piece of the seat cracked and snapped off like a potato chip. After rearranging myself, I tried to avoid the possibility of pokes and pinches but the same thing happened again on the remaining portion of the seat. Now, two 5-inch sections of the toilet seat had broken off.
My husband Dale's handiwork. My husband, Dale, was not in a good mood, following our 28-hour journey. Fortunately, the handy-man side of him came in handy when needed. When you click the toilet seat image to the right, you'll see how Dale "permanently" repaired, attractively decorated, and made the seat much more user friendly by applying new flexibility that the tape provided! (Click the photo to enlarge and shrink it.)
Then Mr. Fix It in action.came the facility's shower curtain. Precariously balanced on the open, louvered window, it had a 4-inch gap where water could easily run onto the bathroom floor.  The spring rod had lost its capabilities. A mere brushing by the shower curtain could dislodge the rod and drop it and the curtain onto the floor.  STRESS!  And all this took place on our first night in Kenya. We needed to "conquer the land." As you'll see when you click the shower curtain photo here, Dale (a.k.a. Mr. Fix It) skillfully duct taped the flimsy rod at just the right height and voilà! Again, no more problem.
The further our mission progressed, the more frequent were the requests for duct tape made: "Mom have you seen the duct tape?  I need it to fix a hole in the solar shower."  "Help! The glass globe of the hurricane lamp has broken. Where's the duct tape?" In answer to these numerous requests, we found duct tape appearing on top of our water bottle. It was also used to make a trash bag for wound care waste and it got moved from the pit latrine to somewhere. Inevitably, the request for this aqua-blue fix-all came with a frantic urgency, when time after time I would be asked, “Where's the duct tape?”
Thanks, Lord, for reminding us to bring this valuable commodity with us. I now know how wise it is to advise new missionaries to bring not only toilet paper at all times, but duct tape as well.
Beneath the following collection of our "duct tape action shots," I've made a list of many valuable uses for duct tape that we six missionaries made on our three-week mission to Kenya.

— • —

A fresh roll of duct tape adorns a luggage bag.

Before the Fishers headed to the airport, the Lord reminded them to bring a full roll of duct tape.

Duct tape was used to repair a hole in the solar shower water bag that began to leak after it kissed a thorn.

To identify each of the mission team members' generic luggage bags,
aqua-blue duct tape was used most successfully.

Putting tape to good use was Sally Hazell who used the multi-functional product
to fabricate and then hang a plastic refuse bag that was used for wound care waste.

Here's a good example of how duct tape was used effectively on one of the team's
many luggage bags. Its separator wall and lining were reattached and reinforced.

Marti proudly presents her right hand, recently bandaged in their remote village clinic
using, you guessed it, aqua-blue duct tape.

One of our cell phone's casing had cracked and became loose.
It was salvaged by a few inches of in valuable "you know what."

A young boy with foot and leg injuries was treated by one of the mission's clinical nurses.
Note what the nurse is ingeniously using to prop up one of the boy's legs
while applying dressing and a bandage to it.

Can you spot where the Kenyan mission team used blue duct tape here?
Hint:  Move your cursor over portions of this image to locate exactly where
the duct tape has been used effectively.

The Kenya mission team also used multi-functional duct tape to repair the broken glass chimney
of our hurricane lantern. Although the indestructible duct tape did not melt or burn when the lamp was used,
it did, however, add a surprisingly "coolish aqua-blue tint" to the light source and each room.

Marti points out where the broken plastic strap on her water jug had been refastened
by, yes, you know what it was that she used . . . aqua-blue duct tape!

Here are several ways our mission team members used duct tape in Kenya.

  1.  Repaired a cracked toilet seat

  2.  Secured a spent indoor shower curtain rod

  3.  Sealed a hole in an outdoor shower wall; held and directed the showerhead

  4.  Identified luggage    (We chose aqua blue for this mission's tape color.)

  5.  Mended torn plastic trash bags with it

  6.  Repaired luggage dividers and lining

  7.  Used it as adhesive tape when dressing a wound

  8.  Prevented bottle tops from unscrewing while traveling (no photo)

  9.  Repaired a cracked cell phone casing

10.  Held a flashlight switch in the “off” position during transit (no photo)

11.  Blocked open DVD player ports so only the right ones would be used (no photo)

12.  Wrote identification and instruction labels for electronic equipment (no photo)

13.  Propped up a patient's leg during wound care treatment

14.  Used it, much like clothespins, to hang up various items on a line

15.  Joined cracked glass pieces of a hurricane lantern

16.  Repaired a broken plastic strap on Marti's water bottle

17.  . . . .

How many ways have you used duct tape?

Let Marti know some of your ingenious uses of duct tape.

another Christian fish with a cross

Take a look at these three other August family photo pages.