No electricity

I saw this illustration going around in Facebook and I laughed… it is our life here.

coupure de courante

Wikipedia: “I know it all”
Google: “I have it all”
Facebook: “I know everybody”
Internet: “Without me, you are nothing”
Electricity: “Ha ha… keep talking…”

In Cotonou, economic capital of Benin, right now in rainy season, we have electricity 4 nights a week.Benin, despite all it natural resources, doesn’t produce its own electricity (hint for the intl community: much better idea than building school buildings where there are no qualified teachers for populating them), so it buys “residual electricity” from Ghana, Nigeria and I believe even Togo next door. As its name says it, residual electricity is what the other countries have left. Now, that is not really true because many remote places in those countries don’t have electricity themselves, but I guess it is a way of saying that they sell us what they want.

Sometimes it is not enough so the Benin has to manage it: some neighbourhoods get electricity some hours of the day, other neighbourhood some other hours, some like ours without any important political figures or a lot of complainy expats, 4 nights a week we are completely without electricity and many long hours during the day too.

fete de corriger_en la oscuridadMonica grading exams at candlelight… no, not romantic. At all.

This is really annoying not only because the fan don’t work at night (believe me, I have sweated my weight in transpiration entire nights), but during the days you cannot use computers, at the school the photocopy machine doesn’t work, we cannot charge cellphones, productivity really decreases. Even in the middle of the day, keeping the students awake in this heat with no fans… I want to fall asleep on my table together with them.

Well, funny enough, I would like to continue writing about the electricity situation here, but as if it had heard (or read) me, it was just cut so my modem and computer will soon shut down… I better finish here… for now.

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