If it’s not the water, it’s the wretched power.
The circuit breaker keeps tripping and we keep being plunged into darkness. Power cuts here are an occupational hazard. Oddly I didn’t mind as much when it was national power company’s shortcomings that kept us in the dark. But I do mind when fault lies within, potentially, theoretically, my own control.
I request services of an electrician. He appears and tells me his name is Concubine. I can’t believe it, stifle a giggle and ask him to repeat it. “Oh! Columbine?!” I say with a measure of relief.
Columbine gingerly examines the fuse box. I suggest he measures power input but he tells me he doesn’t have the necessary tool to do that and continues to poke about amongst wires. If he doesn’t measure power input before he puts his fingers in sockets, his could be the shortest career recorded in electrics.
He tells me I cannot use all my electrical gadgets at once. He tells me that to do so will trip switch again. I tell him I’ve lived in Africa almost all my life and know that to aspire to greedily utilize oven, iron, water heater and elecric kettle simultaneously would be to tempt fate. Or darkness.
We reach a stale mate.
I source an alternative electrician. His name isn’t nearly as interesting but, reassuringly, he arrives armed with what I’d expect electricians to be armed with: a power monitor and an air of confidence that Columbine appeared to lack. He looks as if he knows what he’s doing which means he’ll leave me – with his life – with lights.
Power is restored. I can even use the electric kettle at the same time as the water pump which means I can fill it first which is quite handy.