Losing power is not a rare thing in Chiriqui but it’s usually for only for an hour or two at most. Usually losing power is no big deal even in a restaurant. Iphones have flashlights and businesses have candles so life goes on in the dark. Our stove is gas, we have lots of flashlights and candles and we have surge protectors to save our more expensive electronic goods from blowing out with the surges.
Last week our power left us at about 6 PM. We already had plans to pick up a pizza so dinner was no problem. As the sun set, I lit candles. We read with our Kindles so everything was good. Until we realized that one Kindle was almost dead, our cell phones were on life support and the laptops couldn’t get wifi. Those were the minor inconveniences. A very big problem for us is that our water system uses an electric pump to distribute water into our showers, toilets and every other faucet. We were very lucky that we had already showered after a sweaty day at the theater. We used bottled water to brush our teeth. We are also very lucky to have a spigot in the back yard that is not connected to the pump so we used a very large pot of that water to flush.
Then we noticed that the streets around us were lit while ours was black. We hoped that our small small problem only involving a few houses didn’t put us at the end of a long, long list of power failures.
This week had been very windy. There was a storm in the Caribbean that dumped a lot of rain along the Gulf coast. We are getting rain (yay, it’s dry season so I love every drop) but also, really strong winds. It’s like feeder bands before a hurricane arrives. Rain and powerful wind and then beautiful weather to be interrupted by more wind and rain. The gusts blew over some very big trees onto power lines, affecting hundreds who are living in the dark. The wind just howls at night.
In the morning the power was still off so David did some investigating. One of our neighbors had already called Union Fenosa to let them know. David then went to where we pay our electric and they explained that it was already on the list and we would have power back in 2 hours. I don’t know if it was actually 2 hours since we weren’t home, but it was on when we returned.
When we first moved to Panama, there was probably 30 gallons of water stored inside the house in various types of containers. We lived there well over a year and never needed them. Although we also got our water using a pump, the electricity had never been off very long to worry about it.
All is well now. The winds continue but with less moisture. But the toilets flush on demand, and that’s always a good thing.