Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pa Gen Elektrisite

The light on the inverter literally said "defeat". I think it was gloating.

Night before last we had no power. Ugh. Our house can get power from three different sources:
  1. EDH, electricity d' Haiti, the public power utility, which works sometimes, if it wants to, some hours a week, at an outrageously high price
  2. a generator owned by Quisqueya that runs from 7 am to 9 pm on week days, unless it runs out of gas, or breaks in some fashion, or someone forgets to turn it on
  3. an inverter battery system, which is basically 12 car batteries hooked together, that is charged up by the generator and then powers our house when the generator is off, except you can't use heating or cooling elements (air conditioning, toasters, etc.) when it is on
Night before last none of the above were working. This was ok at 3 and 4 pm, because it was still light out, and we just threw open our doors and windows and read outside on the porch, in Jill's amazing camping hammock that I am now obsessed with.

But at bedtime? Ugh.

I washed my face by candlelight, used the booklight to read, and then tried to sleep. With no fan, we just pretty much lay there and sweat. And sweat. And sweat. I was still awake at midnight.

Then I started feeling bites. I woke up fully when a mosquito went in my ear. I lay there for a long time, because now I had to pull the sheet up and it was even hotter. I heard Ben mutter, "I think there's a mosquito in the net. I'm getting eaten alive (which is probably true, because of his lack of shirt)." It was 3:30 am. We turned on his flashlight to check the net and see if one was inside. We killed seven mosquitos, fat and dark with our blood, slumbering on the inside walls of our net. I have no idea how they got in. By now it was 4.

We lay back down to go to sleep, itchy. That's when we noticed the roosters beginning, and the stray dogs. At one point two animals got in a fight and we talked back and forth awhile about whether they were cats or rats fighting. We decided on cats after a particularly feline-like squeal. Then the tap-taps started driving, and the moto-taxis. By then it was just no use. The alarm went off at 6.

Needless to say, yesterday we were not on our A game.

Even as I type this I am self-critical and wonder whether it's selfish to e-whine about a hot, mosquito-y night. It's the norm, or the exclusive experience at night, for millions and billions. Granted. But it wasn't fun.

Last night we went to bed extremely early and slept like rocks. We're fine.

Most important takeaway: all day yesterday I was grateful for the fact that, even in the midst of a yucky night, we didn't fight. Nine times out of ten, we would have. But I've been trying an extremely sophisticated and elegant relationship strategy lately:

Shut my big fat mouth.

I tell you, it's a surefire argument-killer. Shut my mouth. Just don't even ask out loud if his side of the mosquito net was really tucked in well. Don't. Peace ensues. I want less conflict, more teamwork, less defensiveness and criticism, more flirting and laughing.

Mwen renmen ou, elektrisite!

1 comment:

  1. Good to know what's a comin for us in 4 more days! Will you help us hang the mosquito nets on Sunday?



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