The power went out yesterday and just came back on a little while ago. It went pretty well I think, I survived in top form.
Having electricity is a luxury certain Peace Corps volunteers do not enjoy. I don't know where these volunteers are in the world but they have to exist. I am not aware of any in South Africa but there may be a few. The problem is that they won't have a computer or internet access to tell me so.
Most of my life is organized around the assumption that there will be electricity flowing or at least there will be soon. So without power I almost did not know what to do with myself. I prepared my dinner, sans hotplate, which consisted of canned beans. This is not an abnormal meal but I do like them a little warmer. I also enjoyed some reading by candlelight which was particularly funny considering I was reading from an e-reader. It was probably a lot like how Abe lincoln felt when he was reading his e-book reader next to the fireplace.
The sole energy producer in South Africa, Eskom, seems to be coming up short in their efforts to power the country. For the most part I have electricity but on a weekly basis I go without power for at least a few hours, this most recent event was the most egregious of blackouts. I find it hard to complain but it is really just bad business. I think mayhaps they need to let somebody else have a shot at the power business, a little capitalism, some healthy competition. That suggestion may just be the American in me.
I suppose angry calls from small African villages finally got through to them or maybe it was the multi-billion Dollar/Rand platinum industry but Eskom knows its shortcomings. In an effort to curb the shortages of the recent years Eskom has decided to up their production of power stations and also to institute "load shedding". Load Shedding is a planned blackout in certain areas when supplies are low and demand high, to be fair it is on a rolling basis certainly split evenly among small villages and enormous mines. Shortages can be monitored during television shows wherein a little meter pops up giving a rough estimate of the national power supply. "We're in the red, shut the t.v. off!"
I would just like to say at this point that I LOVE ESKOM and that they should not feel the need to punish me by shutting of my electricity. Canned beans are so much better warmed up.