15 April 2009

No power to the people

This morning the power went out just after I woke up but just before I made coffee. The guards couldnt get the generator running. We have no fuel for the campstove. I was about ready to fire up the charcoal grill when the power came back on. I raced to the kitchen to get the coffeemaker started before the next outage.

The local electric company has been having problems lately with flow and distribution. The level of electricity fluctuates so wildly that the lights will dim and re-brighten, dim and re-brighten, continuously throughout the evening. Just when it seems like the lights cant get any dimmer without actually going off, theyll go off. Normally, this happens a couple times a week and our guards run the generator for a few minutes and then regular power is restored. In the last two weeks or so this has been happening several times a day and the generator isnt always able to solve the problem.

The generator doesnt seem to be registering the electricity flow, or lack of flow. There will be electricity flowing to half the house, so the generator thinks everything is a-okay. Or the generator runs and runs but for some reason electricity doesnt get into the house. And its not just our house or our generator. This is a neighborhood-wide problem.

I dont really mind the power outages much, except for times when they interrupt my coffee flow. They are a reminder that I should be reading instead of watching TV. We are among the lucky folks here who not only have a generator but it works most of the time. In many neighborhoods, the power goes out at 10pm for the rest of the night every night, if they even have electrical service at all. We learn many lessons in being thankful for what we have here.

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