Yesterday the power went out. I was happy for neighbors with smart phones who were able to get the news. It turns out that most of Panama was without power for a while because of an incident with a main transmission line. Electricity is reliable here so this is unusual.
The water was out too. This is not unusual. There are many days that the water slows to a trickle by afternoon and doesn’t come back on until evening. The neighbors say this is more common in the dry season, and has become more of a problem as more houses are built in our part of town. We have learned to keep spare water on hand and we can manage easily for quite a while.
So, when it’s hot and all the utilities are out, what do you do? Go shopping with your neighbor! We had a good time running around after a few odds and ends. The stores had generators so business was fairly normal. On our way home she got a call that power wasn’t expected back on until 9PM, but when we arrived in our neighborhood we saw lights on.
The power was back on in the late afternoon, but it was a while before the cable and internet service resumed. Finally, about 10PM the water came back too, and all was back to normal.
I certainly can’t complain. I have blog friends in more rural areas and other nearby countries who have a lot more trouble with utilities, with frequent power outages and water problems, and very unreliable internet. I also remind myself of the many people in the world who never have power, and who have to haul all their water from an outside water source. So, stepping away from the desk and spending a lot of the day with friends and neighbors was a good thing. I’ll have to do that more even when there isn’t a power outage.
According to the news, the Panama Canal was not affected by the power outage.