Power to the people

25 02 2007

I have a good excuse why the blog has not been updated; power or lack of it. A cyclone hit south central Mozambique on Thursday and Friday afternoon the winds brought down a tree somewhere on the line which left us without power for 26 hours. The winds were truly spectacular so I’m surprised that there was relatively little damage. By yesterday evening there was a puddle under the freezer part of the fridge and Jenni’s food was distinctly smelly. She does not mind of course. 

Yes, I suppose I could have typed this up on my laptop with the assistance of the UPS plugged into the heavy duty truck battery but I still would not have had any internet connection until the mail server next door was turned on; it is also on a UPS and truck battery. Zimbabwe is replete with devices to keep the TV going, the computer online, the fridge cold. There are numerous vendors for generators, inverters etc. I have two UPS’s in my house, and fridge guards for protecting against low voltages and spikes. One can also purchase fax guards (spikes and high voltage) and devices to protect 3 phase motors from single phasing (only one phase working). Solar power does not seem to be that popular; I guess it is expensive and still not very efficient. 

Any serious function has a generator on standby, like the show I went to on Thursday night. A South African group called Barnyard Theatres put on a show of pop/rock/folk cover songs. It was a quite festive occasion, alcohol flowed aplenty and the group was good though their sound system was not up to their musicianship. The audience was almost entirely white which I suppose was not surprising considering the music style. There was one black/coloured singer in the band and good he was too. At one point the person sitting next to me turned to the person on my other side and said; “M, they could have told them that they didn’t have to have a token black in the band”. Oh, boy, we have a way to go.



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