I hadn’t planned on writing this tonight, but really I could cry.
Not for anything major or serious, sad or tragic. In the great scheme of things this really isn’t a big problem but it just gets to me sometimes!
For the last few weeks we have been suffering from constant ‘light off’ (power cuts) & ‘pipe closed’ (no water) syndrome.
For what seems to be constantly, until today, we’ve had significant periods without electricity. The generator hasn’t been going on so much for one reason or another so we’ve had whole days with no power. Usually up until around 8pm, the other night up until 11.30pm from early afternoon. It can sometimes be quite courteous when it goes off at around 1am to 6am. No light means no fans, no fridge, no freezer, no internet, no oven…. but if I can just stop the kids from opening the fridge and freezer and it didn’t feel like we were sleeping in soup at night it wouldn’t be so much of a problem.
Water has been going on and off for the last month too. You hear all sorts of stories as to why these both happen; power shortages, building new power stations, a broken part of the dam, pre-election fight for votes by giving areas light and water and now having to cut back in other areas. Who knows but all I can say is that we just don’t realise how much we take these things for granted, until we don’t have them.
Today I got up thinking yey, the light is on, the water was on full power yesterday so lets do some washing which has been piling up. I checked the tap in the bathroom, water is running. Get to the kitchen water is off.
So we have had no water since 7am, it is now 9pm and still no water.
We sadly don’t have a reservoir or water tanks to tide us over. We only have a few gerry cans.
What makes it all the worse is that it is over 40 degrees here (105+) at times in the day with humidity at over 90%. You are dripping with sweat (not a nice image, but true), and it is filthy, in that you get dirty here very very quickly. Lets just add children into the mix, one of which is still to register that pants are not nappies, and it can turn into quite an interesting day.
I’m really really hoping that my current habit of shrieking at our children and loosing my patience with them is to do with the fact that it is so hot and I can’t just throw them or myself under a shower to ‘cool’ down.
If we consider what we use water for, it really does become quite stressful:
washing clothes (rinsing underwear!)
flushing the loo (six in the house means they can be used quite a bit!)
I dare you all to try and put aside a large bucket of water in the morning and only use that all day.
The thing is I know I shouldn’t complain; we are lucky to have water directly to the house. A lot of people in our area and indeed in most of Ghana make do with a stand pipe and collect their water in the morning or evening. They know how to use water carefully, efficiently and without the luxury of flushing toilets, showers, or washing machines.
It’s just that today it got to me – well if I’m honest it gets to me most times the water is off but having it off all day is not good. The tears wanted to come though when at 5pm, yes you got it, the power went off…….
Oh the joy of no light and no water at the same time, so you now have sweat pouring off you but no fans to dry it off!!
So now take your bucket of water and everything you need to do for the day and a few children and shut yourselves in a sauna with a lot of dirty sand on the floor. And don’t forget to have fun!