Thursday, August 3, 2017

Unexpected Power Outage Day

I have had people ask me about power outages here. Yes, they happen, and they happen far too often for my liking. But that's cuz I work online. I need POWER!
People have suggested that I go work in a hotel or coffee shop that has power and free WiFi. Can't do that, unfortunately, as I don't work on a laptop. I work on a big ol' PC that I brought with me from Canada. (It's kinda tough to type fast on those little laptop keyboards, all hunched over looking down at the screen on the table.)

Anyhoo, I was merrily typing away this morning when POOF -- no power. As I always do, I sit and wait for a minute to see if it's just a hiccup. Nope. No power. I didn't have saldo (minutes) on my phone, so I headed off to the bank machine to get money to get minutes to text my boss back in the States about why I suddenly disappeared in the middle of a job.

Well, down at El Amate street, it was very apparent why I had no power. There were dudes in blue helmets all over the place, tearing down the power lines and replacing the poles. *sigh* "That doesn't look like it's gonna be done anytime soon," I thought.
Yep, that's how they roll here in Guate. Just climb on up. It's fine. Perfectly safe.
This is the next pole that they were going to replace. A tangled nest of wires!
More problems arose as the bank machines were offline due to the power being off. Luckily, I ran into Bert coming back from the hardware store and used his phone to text my boss. He headed back off to work...but didn't last long as there was no power there either!

It was another gorgeous day out, sunny and hot, so I took my time wandering around town enjoying the scenery and trying not to fret too much about all the money I wasn't making.

A different view of the market, from up top in the nearby "mall", Plaza Asis.
Chatted with a friend at the market, bought some bananas and tiny peaches, and stopped into the 3Q store for random stuff. Went into the muni salon to check on AYUDA, as they were having their monthly spay/neuter clinic there. They had power, so everything was going smoothly. 
This puppy must have had a bad night. She was falling asleep sitting up as she waited her turn.
Dr. Isael of San Martin vet clinic is the amazing vet who works with AYUDA.
Lots of kitties ready for their surgeries!
street dogs Panajachel Guatemala
There is a gang of 9 street dogs that hangs out near the market, rather peacefully, I might add. This is only 7 of them. I had to get the lady in the photo as well to show how normal street dogs are to the local Guatemalans. They don't even look twice. They just walk around.
Back at home, I was kind of at a loss what to do. When the power is out, there is also no running water as it's all pumped in from the cistern. So I couldn't do dishes, or laundry, or mop the floor. I guess that means it's nap time!

After I got my beauty rest, I swept, changed the kitty litters, emptied the garbages. Still no power. *twiddling thumbs* It wasn't until around 4pm that the electricity finally came back on, and I logged on to work to see if I could pick up anything. They were swamped -- Thursdays are busy! -- so I got some work and hammered it out in double time. :)

So as days go, it was unexpected but nice. For those who are thinking to move to Guate, know that these power outages aren't nearly so common in the bigger cities, and they are usually announced ahead of time in the paper or online. I guess I just missed this one. Here in Pana, the power outages are more widespread because of the outdated infrastructure. Everything is connected to everything, so you can't just turn off one small section of power to fix something. I'm lucky that my work is so understanding about these things. If I was in danger of losing my job because of this kinda thing, I would either invest in a power generator, a backup power source, or do what others suggest and get a laptop and head to Mister Jon's. 😁

Bonus kitten pictures! 
When I'm working, the kittens sometimes feel the need to supervise me. Queso is quite dedicated to it. Noodles, he gets a little bored.
Queso making sure my work is up to snuff!
My sweet baby Noodles! I love this kitten so much!!


  1. Harold WilliamAugust 04, 2017

    Power reliance here can indeed be a frustrating experience. Ever look up at the rats' nests wiring jobs on the poles? It's amazing that anybody has power at all. And with so many of those short unannounced outages that happen every week when they switch over turbines in the mornings. grrr
    For myself and the extensive work I do with spreadsheets, I've developed a tick to keep hitting Ctrl+s to save my work no less than once/minute while working. But for someone like yourself, perhaps you should invest in a UPS box (Uninterrupted Power Supply) and have a Tigo saldo stick handy for wireless Internet. Think of it as insurance, or as Chris Rock called it "In case [sh*t happens]." Naturally, once you make such investments the power will never go out again for which everyone in Pana will thank you.
    Sorry you lost yet another day of work. But nice job here doing what you can with your time to try and make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Hang in there and keep smiling through.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Harold! Apparently, quite a few people in Pana knew this outage was coming. I guess I just missed the announcement. I don't mind power outage days if I can prepare for them. They're a great time to go out and see things and not feel guilty about not working. :) I also comfort myself with the fact that all this means progress!