Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Electricity, and the truth about me

We've had lots of issues lately with the electricity. Sometimes the power plant doesn't give any electricity for a few days. If it goes too long, our inverter looses its charge and we're left with no power. This happens very rarely. We don't use a lot of electricity to begin with, and we try to pay attention to how long its been since we've had public power. It's a different life than living in the U.S., land of constant electricity, but it works.

However, the past couple of weeks have been rough. There was a problem, still is a problem, with the power coming into our street. We noticed the public power hadn't been on for a while, but when it did return our street was still in the dark when everyone else had power. We could see other people's lights taunting us from our candle lit living room. The neighbors had been calling EDH (the power company), but weren't getting any luck in getting someone to come out. Finally Willem found and EDH guy and asked him to come and check it out. Apparently the wire to our street isn't the right gauge. The EDH guy rigged it so that it will work for now, but it could go out again in the future.

In addition to that, our landlords had some electrical work done on our apartment, and apparently we are getting four more batteries for our inverter. This should double the amount of electricity we can hold in reserve for the times there is no public power. That is awesome. Except the batteries aren't connected yet and our inverter lost power last night around 8. I almost had dinner on the table (this is our normal dinner time), so we got out the flashlight and ate in the semi-dark. We adapted and enjoyed just talking to each other before we went to bed.

All these recent issues with electricity have made me realize something about myself. I get grumpy when there's no power. Really grumpy. Having no power makes me alternately want to cry and feel sorry for myself or throw rocks at something. In my desperation I might even write things like, "Life was so much easier when I lived in Indiana." in my journal. But I guess you'll never know that for sure. Ultimately this grumpiness is selfishness; I'm irritated that I didn't get my way.

Here's the problem with being selfish about electricity... I know it's not constant. I know I won't always have it. I shouldn't get grumpy about something that I know isn't guaranteed. If I lived in the States where electricity is a constant thing, I could understand being upset when it's out for several days. But I live in Haiti, where the only thing guaranteed about electricity is that it's not going to be constant! 

But more importantly than not being selfish about inconsistent electricity is the fact that I live in a country where there are people living in tents because of an earthquake that happened 2.5 years ago. They don't have electricity. They don't have clean water, let alone running water. They don't even have rooms in their dwellings. They get wet when it rains, and swelter the rest of the time. How can I complain about the lack of power for a few hours when these people lack...almost everything?

Lord, open my eyes to more important things than electricity and help me to see what's really important.

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