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umeme/power

I can’t help myself

If I go without DIYing too long I start shivering and shaking. So out came the birdhouse, light, switch and wire. Where’s the cable stripper when you need it?

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We all went on safari

Did you do know that safari is the word for ‘journey’ in Swahili?
Some more explanation: ‘We all went on safari’ is a repetitive line in a book Tarek owns.
we all went on safari

We all went on safari when our Sunday’d just begun
Tarek seemed a bit better, really sick kids: one

We all went on safari, to the doctors, yes it’s true.
Antibiotics for Miko, amount of patients: two.

We all went on safari. Well maybe not really ‘we’.
Hein left for Uganda so that left only three.

Hein gone for close to a week. Both kids on antibiotics. Fridge still broken. Something amazing happened last night though. The power company came at ten in the evening (on a Saturday night mind you) without me having tried to bribe anyone. And they fixed the problem in no time. We have power in the whole house! That is, until the 18 hour black outs start. But to prepare for that we’ve bought close to 50 litres of diesel and have the same amount in the generator. If only the fridge fundi comes back and the kids get better and Hein would be here and there wouldn’t be black outs or power surges everything would be just fine.

Cause and effect

Hein travels to Uganda tomorrow so of course:

  • Both the kids are sick, still. Fevers aren’t making it up to 40 degrees but they are still getting close.
  • The fridge broke down so we can’t cool Tareks’ antibiotics nor keep Mikos’ milk frozen.
  • When we turn on the pressure pump we have too much electricity in the house, turn off the pump and we have none.
  • This inexplicable problem disappears when we turn on the generator (which, fortunately is working).
  • This inexplicable problem will be fixed by the power company yesterday. I mean today. I mean within an hour.

The kids being ill also means there is lots of sleeping. Miko is currently in Tareks room which is easier to cool. And she’s super comfy, as you can see ….
miko comfortably asleep
Miko sleeping comfortably

An update, finally

Once the routine is gone it’s hard to get back into it, obviously. So what are some of the things I’ve been silent about?

  • On the 20th of April, Miko laughed out loud for the very first time. Not just a giggle but 10 minutes of Rolling On The Floor (ok, in the bath) Laughing.
  • miko ROFL
    I realise this is a lousy photograph. Just use your imagination to picture Tarek splashing about in the bath and Miko bursting with laughter at the sight.

  • So far we’ve had a weird rainy season with showers so local that you can spend 1.5 hours in traffic in the harshest of sunshine wondering why there’s a jam. Then you reach a low point and drive 200 metres through water and continue your way in the harsh sunlight again. Extremely local and also very scattered in time. We had more than a week without rain and decided to reinstall the water recycling system. Of course it started raining like mad that very same day.
  • With opa and oma gone back to the Netherlands, Tarek needed to readjust to the same old life. He didn’t settle down easy. There were a few days of extreme naughtiness. Finding tables, walls and other surfaces covered with crayon kind of naughty. Seeing books fly through the room kind of naughty. Hitting me hard in the face with objects kind of naughty. Peeing where he knows it’s hard to clean kind of naughty. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ve had the lowest point (so low I had to have a 24 hour break from him) and things will be easier again.
  • For a while it literally seemed like the president had become our neighbour. No power problems when rumour had it that the whole of Dar es Salaam had no power (All of Gaul uh Dar?) and the hum of generators could be heard everywhere. But the president moved away last week and a power surge cost us the blender and the amplifier. The amplifier I can probably fix if I can find the right fuse, the blender poses a bit more of a challenge. Of course we have power cuts just when Tarek is peeing all over the place and the guests have left and Hein comes back from a trip so there are piles of laundry to be done. This of course, is also the moment the generator decides to stop working.
  • Yesterday the newspaper announced that there is to be hardly any power from the 19th until the 23rd (11 hour black outs) and no power at all from the 23rd until the 26th. The fundi is working on the generator now. I bought diesel last week and will be buying as much as I can this week.

Umeme narudi

Since our return from the Usambaras with Danielle 9 days ago, we did not have to run the generator. With one or two minor exceptions power has been pretty constant. Tanzania keeps surprising me. A lot of businesses filed for bankruptcy during the last two months because either generators were not available or too expensive to run. Like many African countries Tanzania heavily relies on hydro power. But when the rains fail and the rivers run dry, there is a problem. It is hard to know what happened. I heard the government managed to rent a huge generator for Dar es Salaam only. It also rained a bit recently.