Two days and counting without power in Gulu.
I try to imagine how people would react in Wisconsin if the power all of a sudden went out without explanation and stayed out for over two days….also with no explanation. There would be an uproar, total madness, people would be furious, they’d threaten to move, they’d probably blame Walker. The usual. Here, it’s pretty chill.
Me: power still out?
Doreen the housekeeper: ya.
Me: …..when do you think it will come back on?
Doreen: not sure. hopefully soon.
That’s the extent of it. No one calls the power company or complains to the media. There’s just no power, and everyone has to suck it up. There’s a generator at the office so that we can continue our work, but fuel is running a little scarce as the blackout stretches on. We went a few hours without the generator this morning until fuel could be fetched from a gas station further away from Gulu.
There’s no generator at the house, but that isn’t as much of an inconvenience here as it is in the United States. Food is bought, cooked, and eaten mostly in the same day, so there isn’t a lot in the refrigerator that will spoil. Showers are cold even when there is power, so lack of hot water isn’t something we notice. The toilets are latrine-style – no worries there either. We all have flashlights, candles, and headlamps to light our way when the sun goes down. It just is what it is. Instead of watching Spanish telenovelas (with poorly dubbed English superimposed) after dinner, we’ve taken to singing Christian songs. Pamela’s brother is a well-known pastor in the area, and nearly everyone here is Christian, so we’ll pack about 7-10 people in our living room and while away the time in song. Someone brings a guitar, and that’s all we need. I’m even learning a few songs in Acholi! There’s something very unique about having your friends and co-workers around you, singing praise in the candle light, and I find myself not missing the TV much.
The only terrible thing about the blackout is that I missed skype calls with my family and my two best friends. I was looking forward to seeing their faces. We have so much to catch up on that by the time we do eventually skype it’s going to take all day! Whining won’t do much good, though. There’s always tomorrow. If it weren’t for the communication difficulties, I honestly don’t think I’d miss having power very much.