For a week or so we’ve been having consistent power outages of about 4 – 6 hours a day. First, they started off every 2nd or 3rd day and then the last three days it’s been every day.
Thom told me that there apparently was a fire up at one of the main power plants at the Kafue Gorge so they’re having to load shed in order to make sure there’s enough power for the nation. (For those like me who didn’t know: “Load-shedding – cutting off the electric current on certain lines when the demand becomes greater than the supply.”) Here’s a newspaper article about it (click this).
Lucky for us we now have a generator. Unfortunately, it needed significant repairs so it took about two weeks to get it fixed. Fortunately(!), we got it working a couple of days ago and taking a page from “generators for dummies” had an electrician set it up so all we had to do was turn it on and flip a switch and we’d have power for certain lights, outlets and the refrigerator. (As an aside, the electrician worked for two days separating out the exact lights [kitchen and Thom’s office], outlets [three in the kitchen, two in Thom’s office] and the refrigerator and combining them on one line so those specific items would be powered by the generator. His total fee: $40.)
It works like a dream! Here’s the inside switch.
The electrician routed the cord to the garage where the generator is stored.
Meet Gina, the generator. Isn’t she pretty?
She’s a drinker though, straight up diesel.
We’re not sure how long she lasts on a tank of diesel but we’re pretty cautious about minimizing our power usage when she’s running. Still, I can’t help but being concerned that we’re still relying on non-renewable energy for power. I’m looking forward to the day when we use solar, wind, hydro or geothermal for our power needs. Also, I feel a little guilty using her, like we’re cheating and not living in the “real” Africa. But, she sure does make life easier.