Adventures in Power Outages

So last week I went through not one but THREE power outages. It started on Wednesday morning when I went back upstairs after eating breakfast and fell asleep. When I woke up there was no power. My Dad and I went to run some errands and saw that a power line was down a couple blocks away. When we got back to the house, the wireless router was still working (the phones were still on and it had a battery backup). A couple hours later the power came back on.

Later…my parents went down to work to teach and the power went out at the university. I was supposed to have Biostatistics lab later that night. My parents did not hear anything from the powers that be and went out to teach the afternoon classes at 3pm. At 3:05 a campus wide text went out saying that all evening classes were cancelled. Because students actually showed up to their classes my parents intended on holding them…until the university police came and kicked them out of their classes.

I was at home trying to figure out if I had Biostats lab or not. One of my classmates was on campus and frantically emailing the professor and the TA to get an answer. Biostats is held on the medical campus and they still had power…but the texts were saying that the university was closed.

With lab due to start at 5:30, I scanned my homework and emailed it to the TA. My classmate got back to me at 4:00 saying that we had class and that she just got an email from the TA. I frantically packed up my things, and hopped in my car to go to the university. Luckily I made it with some time to spare.

On the way home there was a torrential downpour and I arrived at my house to find that the power was out. Thanks to my two years in Burkina with no electricity at my house, I just grabbed my headlamp, ate dinner, and finished my epidemiology homework due the next day.

On Thursday, the university still had no power so my parents stayed home. My Nutrition and Health class got cancelled but I still had epidemiology because it’s held on the medical campus.

Apparently the outage on main campus was planned by the city’s electricity company..,But no one seemed to know anything about that.

In Burkina when the power cut people tended to expect it. This was very common in large cities during hot season because everyone was running their air conditioning. I remember times in the transit house when the power cut every hour or so. When something is expected to happen, it’s generally not a surprise. Thankfully the power came back on and everything was fine.

I’m glad I don’t take electricity for granted. That’s what happens when you don’t have it for two year.


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