Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Ellen
The electricity was out all day. No air conditioning, internet, or ice water. No music, fans, or lights.
A planned outage by the power company lasted from around 8:00 a.m. to nearly 6:00 p.m. We’ve experienced power outages in countries around the world. It’s something unheard of in America, unless there’s been some type of storm.
I was glad to have a day without electricity. It forced me to stay in the moment. I lived a ‘simple life’ today – and it brought some joys.
A day without electricity
It was a good morning to do more laundry. I hand wash our clothing, towels and sheets, so no electricity needed. Just my elbow grease. I debated hanging the clothes on the lines on the roof, since rain was possible. The sky was half gray. I opted to use hangars and keep things inside.
I enjoyed coffee and oatmeal with fruit in our seaview rental apartment at the Hangout Beach Resort, where we call home these days. Then I swept up, as I do each morning, with the new broom the owner gifted me.
Strangely, as I did the “womanly” work at home, my husband was on a mountainside in the jungle helping the Ati tribe work on some projects. The “manly” work isn’t something he wanted me doing with a bruised leg. I agreed to steer clear of the Ati land. For now.
Bank & market
The power outage extended into the closest large town, Caticlan. However, the bank has its own power source so the air conditioning blasted me. I sat down when number 21 was at the counter. Until number 28 was called, I was cooled off by the AC for a full 25 minutes. I got change, and went back out into high humidity. But the sun was not blazing – it was overcast and so it was cooler.
The market was quiet approaching noon. Many people take lunch between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. I’ve been to the market so many times by now over the last few months, I know some vendor names. And I know where to go for what and do it pretty quickly. Today, in no rush, I wandered around a little more. Some businesses, like the drug store where I bought my tamoxifen, used generators to cool their stores. Temperature control is important for prescription drugs.
I got my goods and arranged the ride home on a trike. No regular taxis as Americans know them in this part of the world. Only motorcycles with passenger seating in side carts. Limit two passengers per trike thanks to ‘Rona.
We never went faster than a few miles per hour, but the wind was enough to dry my T-shirt. I watched rice fields and and villages pass by. Still no rain.
Shells & plants
I cat napped. That’s easy on a day without electricity in the heat of the afternoon. When I woke, I walked the beach. I stopped and talk to a woman I see often. Nothing new for her. “Every day is the same,” she said. “But today is not as hot, and today there is no electricity.”
Then I played “Let’s Make A Deal” with the kids in the next village. They were waiting for me. They ran towards me carrying large, stuffed bags. They’d been collecting shells for me since we last connected, and it was time to negotiate a price for the pristine pieces.
We play haggled; I paid a few pesos for the best of the best from their collections. Nicole, the clever girl, gave me her whole bag as a gift. Free of charge. It’s hard to haggle for real when you’re friends.
When I returned to the Hangout, I put my shells in my woman cave, and admired the landscape work on the resort grounds. Yolly, the owner, and her friends have been busy with gardening. They’ve made beautiful centerpieces on the property, with more work planned.
A day without electricity forced me to see this beauty. I was vaguely aware of some work happening, but I had never taken a moment to stand before it – and see it.
Still no rain. I’ve no doubt it eventually will rain – a lot. And the resort will turn even greener, against the beautiful blue sea.
Dip & dinner
I took a dip in the calm sea at low tide before dinner with Ricky Mae and Erwin, who also are staying at the resort. The saltwater soak for 30 minutes was blissful, peaceful. I was so happy the sea was cooler than the air today, since a day without electricity and fans and AC meant I sweat a lot.
Just before dinner time, I arrived back ‘home’. The power was back on. I could charge my devices, and turn on the lights to see in the gathering darkness. Would I have been OK without it for longer? Yes. And no. I showered off and dinner was ready.
My husband made a great fish dish with pasta and steamed okra. As we ate he told us about his day working with the Ati – an indigenous tribe. Many of whom spend every day without electricity. And that is not lost on me.
Thanks for reading, “A day without electricity means ‘simple life’ joys.”
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