Since we get electricity only about one night out of three, we use the generator we purchased to give us a couple hours of light most other nights. But we have a lot of hours with just candles or rechargable Chinese-made hand held lights. I had not realized how accustomed we were to having electricity routinely available back home.
To keep track of fuel use on the generator, our landlord suggested writing down the amount on hand and the hours it is turned on. So on generator nights I go out into the unlit parking lot inside the compound (which itself is surrounded by a high wall and has a tall metal gate). Alpha, one of the security guards, and I sit down on the steps to fill out the fuel book (we have duplicate copies). To write, we each put our narrow flashlights in our mouth to free our hands and shine on the books. Our mutual joke has become: “Don’t eat your flashlight.”
Pushing the refrigerator across the kitchen. More recently the periodic electricity has powered only half our outlets, a phased power plan that I suppose saves even more on the nation’s fuel costs (the power company is running a daily deficit at present). Sometimes this means we have to push our small refrigerator across the kitchen to the powered outlet. It also means sometimes we don’t get power for the water heater but do get it for the wall unit air conditioner in our bedroom. Those are special nights when we lie inside our mosquito net-covered double bed and have to pull a sheet over us because it’s chilly.
Romantic candle-lit dinners. On the brighter side of this darkness, Betty and I have been reacquainted with the charm of dinners by candlelight. We often eat on the balcony from which we can see barely visible lights of distant fishing boats on the ocean.