Tuesday, 27 October 2009


On Saturday, together with many of my colleagues, I attended the first Scripture Dedication in our project! To read more about it visit the Wisbey's blog - no point in my trying to write about it when a friend has already written a good one :-)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Power problems worsen

Just a quick update on the last blog...the schedule for power rationing has changed - we are now scheduled to be without power three days a week, 8am - 11pm. With the help of friends (as I am so slow to go and do these things under my own steam) I've been and bought a two-ring gas stove and a parafin lantern, so I'm a little more prepared to cope! Today it has rained properly for the first time since May - we need more of that to fill up the reservoirs which supply the hydro-electric power stations and to fill up the town's water supplies.
Soon I'll be leaving the office and heading back to the Wisbey's (trying not to worry about the food defrosting in the freezer), where after a candle-lit dinner we'll gather round a laptop to watch some West Wing (having made sure the laptop battery is fully charged here at the office) with some soft lantern-light to lessen the darkness!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Power problems

The whole nation of Tanzania is on power rationing. There’s a timetable for when the power will be cut off for a particular area, but it isn’t proving very reliable. Our part of town is supposed to be without power for 14 hours every Sunday. So, I had invited a work friend (Helen) round for dinner on Friday evening, with plans also to play our instruments together (mine being an electric piano), without any thought of whether we’d have the power to do it. You can guess what’s coming…
…I arrived home from work to find that we had no power, even worse it wouldn’t return until after 9pm. (Oh, I forgot to mention, I have an electric cooker, so no way of cooking). Now what? I texted Helen and we developed a plan B, and I am happy to say we had a lovely evening. We took a walk down to town to get dinner, where I had chicken tikka and chips and Helen had pepper steak and chips. The only problem was having to talk loudly to make ourselves heard over the sound of the generator running outside. We walked back in the dark, under a beautifully starlit sky. Still no power, so we looked at photos on my laptop (which fortunately has a good battery) until…hallelujah – the power returned (9.10pm). Se we still go to make music with the piano and oboe.
Saturday afternoon I invited several friends around for cake. Not long after I had taken some flapjack out of the oven and melted some chocolate to spread on top, the power went off. I figured we’d just have to have cold drinks but…ten minutes later it was back on again.
So, who knows when the power will go off?! Have to be flexible here! And it makes you so much more thankful for lights at the flick of a switch when you’ve been straining to read by candlelight. (And I should just add, the power did go off on Sunday, for 15 hours!)