Sunday, November 30, 2008


November 10, 2008

Powercuts, a.k.a. “load shedding” occur every day for between 3 and 6 hours per day (that I KNOW about…. I think they slip some in during the night, too!! Or at least reduce the current enough to prevent my camera battery to charge during an ENTIRE night!!)

However, powercuts almost ALWAYS occur from 5 pm to 8 pm… understand that this time is the ONLY time that I can – with ease – make contact with people in the US (11 hours difference in time)… Soooooo, this makes it IMPOSSIBLE to communicate with anyone in “real” time because the Internet cafes have no power. Therefore, I am stuck in my room during this time…. In the dark… with only my laptop on battery…. For THREE HOURS… three very critical hours in my life in Bhairawha, Nepal…. I WORK from 10 am until 4 pm and THEN the power goes out for the remaining daylight hours!!

Hahhahahahhahahha! Soooooo funny! So, what do I do??

I can read by my headlamp (and use up my precious batteries). I can compose on my laptop (as now until the battery dies). I can sleep (but then it’s impossible to sleep during regular hours). Such a pickle!
Of course, not only is the power off, but also my fan is off…. So it gets hot, VERY hot! And the mosquitoes are hungry, VERY hungry! If I turn on my headlamp, the mosquitoes can find me… If I turn my headlamp off, I am in the dark with only my laptop light to guide me (and the mosquitoes).

Right now I’m sitting at a very small desk in the dark… dogs are barking all around.. howling/barking/ baying because it has become dark and there is nothing else to do except try to communicate thru the dark with their howls.
If I go into town before the Powercuts, I can drink a beer at the Pizza Time garden in the light of their generator. BUT, when the power comes on (at 8 pm) or when I finish my beer (well before 8 pm), I have to bicycle home (quite a distance) in the dark… not knowing too well where I’m going… not knowing too well if there is any danger from man or beast or natural hazards…. Not seeing too well the rocks in the “road” (a gravel path littered with rocks and sand and cobras -- Yes, there are COBRAS slithering across the road in front of my bicycle or feet… we saw one crossing our path the other night as we walked home…. I asked the guy with us what kind of snake it was likely to be and he responded, “Cobra”… iyyiyiyiyiyi! THAT gets your attention!) Note: I was told later that there are NOT cobras here… other poisonous snakes, yes; cobras, no.

So, it seems a good idea to stay in my room and wait out the dark.

I think the answer is candles – A LOT of candles! I can light up my room with candles and incense and protect myself with Odomos (mosquito repellent extraordinaire).

But as I sit here I hear screams of delight from children playing (What?? In the dark??)…. I hear tractors heading home after a long day in the rice paddies (that surround everything in Bhiarawa)… and in the distance, the strident tweedle-ee-tweedle-ee! of buses on not-so-distant roads rushing thru this small town on the way from –where??—going to – where??

It is now 6:32 pm… the power has been out for an hour or so….there are still 2 hours to go before dinner (3 cups of rice with a chicken-noodle-soup-like sauce to dump on it and a ladle of mixed vegetables (cauliflower and green beans seem to be the favorite) on the side… same or similar thing EVERY night and leftovers EVERY morning.

I guess it’s time to crawl under my mosquito net and read my third book since arrival only 2 weeks ago. If you like to read (Ricky!) but life gets in the way, this is definitely the place to be!! IF your batteries on your headlamp last… or if you get A LOT of candles!

No comments: