Thursday, August 17, 2006

Give me oil in my lamp

Power cuts are quite frequent here. We are trying to get used to it but it not easy. Most the time it is just a few second blip. Of course all the computers go off. Apart from the server as it has about 5 minutes of power from the uninterrupted power supply. Sometimes it is a much longer power cut. About an hour or two.

Most the time its just the hassle of starting up the computer again and carrying on from when you left off. Sometimes its the most annoying thing in the world. Well it feels like it at the time.

For example last week I managed to kill my computer - not really sure how doing updates or installing fonts or something. So clever Joe managed to get my files off for me then I had to reinstall the machine. It takes well over an hour to install the machine I had got to the last stage so thought we would go home for lunch. When we returned there had been a blip in the power. So yep you guessed it I had to start the whole install again aaaarrrggh. I finally managed to get some work done by about 3:30 that afternoon.

OK so not every day we are installing machines when the power goes down. Usually we are in the middle of a download, email or blog entry and have to rewrite the whole lot. So that is why we now write these things in text editor!! Yesterday Joe lost the whole file he was working on as it became corrupt and had to start again. These are just parts of African life we have to adjust to.

At home it is not so bad. At the moment we have no power during the day. I believe this is because the previous tenant took the electric meter with him when he moved out, which is illegal. It left us with no meter which also is illegal. We could get fined millions of francs (which is thousands of pounds) for not having a meter. So to hide this fact they disconnect the electricity during the day and reconnect at night. Eventually it may get sorted out!!

So last night we got home from work about 6:30 when it starts getting dark and the electrics had not yet been connected. Soon after the electrics were connected we had a power cut again (the third lengthy one that day). Marceline got out her oil lamp (which unfortunately soon ran out of oil), or black mans lamp as she called it and we got our torches (flashlight for American readers) or white mans lamp as Marceline calls it (and the batteries ran out). Our neighbour donated us a candle.

Strangely when I went to our room our bed room light was still on. No other light in the whole road was on apart from our bedroom, Marceline's bedroom and the kitchen. We think this is because there was actually very low power and our low voltage strip lights still worked, just a little dimmer than usual. Very bizarre. As we hung out in our room the girls were in the kitchen making us some supper. We then ate our supper by candle light - very romantic pancakes by candle light!!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Hello Heather, I'm really enjoying your blog and the photos make it extra special. Keep blogging!