Washa mwangaza uenee (Let the light shine)

Today we were out of electricity all day long, the whole area was. I spent the day at the house studying, which means I had no reason to complain at all. But when power breaks down like this, it hits hard on the people with the small businesses, trying to make a living in order to survive. To give you an example: My house mate Martin went away in the afternoon to get his car washed, it took hours before he got back and me and O.J. (my other house mate) wondered what took so long. The washing company couldn’t use the pressure-wash, due to lack of power, so they had to wash the car by hand. The bigger issue was that there was no other customers besides Martin. So the guys really struggled. Back in the house me and my friends had a nice time just talking. But when the sun started to set and Martin lighted the first candle, the electricity came back. And five minutes later we were watching the new Superman movie. It’s a little ironic I suppose, though I must say that we’re quite good in communicating with each other, even when electricity is working.

Being used to have electricity and then loose it is really a challenge though, especially in the long term. And I think most of us can agree on that. I still remember when the storm Gudrun swiped over Sweden in the winter of 2005 and left some people without power in their homes and businesses for up to 2-3 weeks, if not longer. I worked in the elderly care at that time and I recall memories of driving around checking up on people so they managed without electricity all by themselves out in the forests. Some elderly people were even evacuated in order to get the accurate help and care that they needed.

So to have electricity is a really good thing and it makes life so much easier. It means that you can communicate and share knowledge and information over media. People can cook their food with other alternatives than making fires indoor, which makes a huge difference from a health perspective. People don’t have to destroy their eye sight while studying in the light of a candle when they can turn a light on. For me it also means that I can have my little mosquito lamp trap on in the night time and don’t worry of getting malaria. Electricity is such a brilliant invention, but not to be taken for granted. And once in a while I think it might be good for us to be reminded of that and just let the light shine a little bit longer…

ImageNa upendo

Anne

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