Electricity 46

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No electricity – what does that mean? Well it means no refrigeration. So you salt the beef, the chicken and the goat meat real good. You overcook it in hot oil and the next day it’s just fine- taste’s great! Bob and I never felt better than when we ate African food, with no candy, no cookies, no fruit, no processed food, and no dairy. No electricity – that means Sophie had to cook dinner in the dark. Sure there’s a fire, but it doesn’t spread light into the pan. She stirs the darkness.  No electricity makes it impossible to clean the dishes until morning, because it’s pitch dark. It means you better have used the latrine already because it’s sure tough to see up the path. It means you go to bed early. What else can you do in the dark?

Unless you have a generator. (Semu owned one of three in the village which made him pretty rich.) First, you pull the starter string a million times. (Some nights Semu pulled for two hours.) It finally sputters and starts. And then there is light. There’s one bare light bulb in the living room, and a second one installed just for us. (A far cry from the 42 bulbs in our Colorado cabin.) A generator connects you to the outside world. For ½ hour you get to watch the news. There’s only one TV station, controlled by the government. But it gives the news…until the generator runs out of gas, and it’s time for bed.

We gave Sophie a bright REI forehead light, and suddenly, she couldn’t live without it. Priska was not pleased since she was blinded every time her mother looked at her, which was all the time. We have corrupted their dark, peaceful nights!

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