One learns to prepare for unexpected power outages in the rural areas of Latin America, and this past week brought several lights-out moments. Just after sunset a few days ago, the power failed, and I peered downriver to see if the neighbors had power. They did not. The coastline was cloaked in darkness. Checking in the other direction, I saw that the town of Jama had power. Uh-oh; I suspected that we’d not see light until the sun peered over the hillside, and we would probably get power no sooner than mid morning.
Lack of power forces one to adjust to a different routine! Sunset signals the end of the day! After a hard day of work painting the bodega floor, Barb and I feasted on an eclectic chicken salad over a bed of hibiscus flowers! Many people are shocked that hibiscus flowers make a great salad and are also nutritious!
Having no electricity forces one to adapt to the rhythms of the natural world. When one goes to sleep with the birds, one awakens with them as well. Barb now understands another reason why I love this perch on the river! The birdlife is phenomenal!
Power was restored around mid morning. One sometimes needs a little reminder to be grateful for modern conveniences like power and internet, no matter how undependable the service!
Over the past week, Barb received several small shocks from her computer and from mine. One night while I was cooking, she noted a faint electrical ‘buzzzzz’ in the wooden floor. The house has a cement first floor and a wooden second floor. My friend Xavier contacted an electrician, who arrived about four hours earlier than promised!!!
Within half a minute, he located the problem:
I bolted for my camera when I saw how he planned to shut off the power!
One of the workers on the farm had tied his horse to that pole on the same day that another worker cut the grass with a machete.
Staying an hour longer, the electrician installed one light fixture and changed the location of several receptacles. (Grand total: Twenty US dollars!) In true Latin custom, he returned to town on his bicycle!