December 6, 2007

No hay luz

electric wiring in La Ceiba, HondurasLots of wires but no juice

"No hay luz" is the expression used in Honduras to mean that there is no electricity, although that literally means "There are no lights." 'Luz' is apparently used interchangeably with 'electricity.'

Yesterday morning was one of those days. I'm always suspicious that it was a planned outage when the power goes out almost exactly on the hour and returns almost exactly on the hour. Yesterday it went out at 8:00 a.m. and returned at 11:57 a.m. (lunchtime). But who knows?

During the previous presidential administration, the power used to be off frequently on Saturday afternoons or all day Sunday for "maintenance." The nice thing back then was that usually there was a notice in the newspapers a day or two before so that you could make your plans accordingly. There's nothing like saving up a week's worth of laundry for Sunday or inviting the big family for dinner only to find out there is no power when you wake up in the morning.

It is a much bigger issue for businesses who can't operate or must rely on expensive fuel generators to keep running. Since it knocks out the POS phone lines, too, businesses can't process debit or credit card purchases. Banks can't process transactions so the businesses probably lose a lot of sales. Businesses in La Ceiba have been complaining long and hard about the frequent outages.

electric wiring in La Ceiba, HondurasIt is no wonder that with wiring like this, maintenance is a time consuming issue, but the current administration apparently doesn't think that notice to electrical users is necessary, at least I don't remember seeing any advance notices. Maybe these are accidental outages. Again, who knows?

Yesterday caught me by surprise as we have had a relatively long span of no outages here in my neighborhood. Short on and off blips − yes, tons of those, but no lengthy outages for awhile. Hmmm, thinking over that last statement, I'll have to admit that I've gotten so used to outages over the years that I may not have taken enough notice to even remember.

Given a choice, I'll take having water over having electricity any day. I really notice when we don't have water. Of course, not having water is directly affected by not having electricity. We usually run out of water after 2-3 hours of no electricity.

Oh, and in return for the great electrical service, the government has just notified us that the rates have gone up 10% effective December 1st.

That is life in Honduras. You get used to it.
Newer posts Older posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...