Everyday Life

An Hour of Darkness

Lunch time was fast approaching and kids eagerly  awaited the meal. Half way into preparation, the electricity tripped off. Television and other electrical appliances in the house also went off.

I was speechless. How could we eat lunch today and when will the power supply be restored? These thoughts ran through my mind as more yelling from my daughters made me even more nervous.

The older girl asked me what had happened to the light and how she might watch her favourite kids cartoons.

There were too many questions which I had no answer for. I decided first to look for lunch alternative before we all starve.

We eventually settled for yoghurt and left-over cake from her birthday party. They didn’t like the improvise and took only few spoons before going back to the television set. I was left alone on the dinning table with the so-called food. It was our first experience without electricity in almost four years abroad.

We had always enjoyed constant light without any disruptions unlike in our  home country.

It was a new thing for the girls to be without light even for a minute but not for me. I grew up in a small village which has no public electricity supply. Wealthy individuals mount their own transformers and decide on who gets the supply. Majority of beneficiaries are either their  friends or relations. Villages without rich indigenes have to rely on generators if it’s within their reach.

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I still shiver when I can’t reach some of my relations on phone because they have no electricity to charge their phones. Those in big cities also experience fluctuations in power supply. Some cites only have light a few hours in a day, or some days in a week.

The electrical fault was rectified within an hour and we had a late lunch. I thank God that it didn’t happen at the peak of winter as the heater might have also been affected.

How can I explain to my daughters who are grumpy about an hour of power disruption that some of their relations back home have never had constant electricity for one whole month and that it is a luxury rather than a necessity over there?

We hope that the authorities concerned will make more efforts at providing electricity to each and every home in Africa’s most populous country.

 

Have ever been without electricity in your life?

Please share your experience in the comments.

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35 thoughts on “An Hour of Darkness”

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  6. I think many people have experienced for power off. One day electricity is out at noon at my work place, so the office was dark inside and no air conditioning working. All workers were sweating. We read documents to use potable lighters.

    Like

  7. Hope, I love what you shared and how you make the girls realise that there can be a world worse off than what they know.
    I live in Nigeria and used to living without electricity half the time even though I stay in the nation’s capital (the suburbs anyway) .
    This means that in dry season, you battle with the hot weather without air conditioning/fan half the time, in rainy season or harmattan, you cannot rely on electricity to boil water or heat up your food, thankfully, we do not need heaters here. The list is endless but we survive and get used to it even, with the help of generators and such.
    If you have not lived it, there’s no way you can understand it.

    Like

  8. The first year we lived in the Hopi nation in northern Arizona, we experienced power outages in the summer several times, lasting several hours. Last winter, we experienced a power outage here in southern Alaska, which lasted several hours. It was cold, so all we could do was stay in bed. I think too many of us have become very spoiled and take electricity for granted. But, just as you, I know many people do not have this luxury. Especially here in Alaska. That’s why I always have extra flashlight and other light sources. And am now trying to find a good source of non-electric heat in case of an outage this winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good pre-caution.
      In Africa people have alternative to electricity like kerosene stove and locally made lamps yet, they don’t sufficiently substitute for electric light.

      Like

  9. Reblogged this on Stop To Kiss The Flowers and commented:
    We had power cuts sometimes up to 8 hours unannounced for long periods of time. After sometime we started to make use of these powerless periods to play board games. Specially at nights under candle night. And believe me that was quality time spent with family.

    Like

  10. I like that your post gives a glimpse of life in your country and how our kids can get used to having a lot more than we had when we were their age. We do have pretty reliable power here is in California. But when there is a high demand ,like in the summer for AC, we have been asked to try to conserve power and only use our appliances in the non-peak hours. We have had some power outages. It is hard when it hot and no AC and if the outage is extended or later in the day we are without light as well.

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    1. Good to know.
      The above examples are normal and understandable. However, it becomes an issue when it’s a usual thing to be without electricity on a regular basis for a long time. Many villages in Africa have never had public electricity (except generators)

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      1. Here in the rural areas there may be no electricity. My husband’s uncle had a ranch without electricity and the generator would go off in the middle of the evening. We had to have lanterns which ran on batteries if we wanted to do anything after the lights went out. We take power for granted and then realize what it is like to go without it.

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  11. I am so spoiled, Hope. It’s hard for me to relate to a life without so much comfort (like electricity and air conditioning and heating and dishwashers and cars….). Thanks for sharing.

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