Sunday, 30 March 2014

Earth Hour; Load Shedding Or Just No Power

Walk down the street to the sweet sound of drone of generators for days on end and you know you are living in South Africa. We have been so fortunate that we have not had to go through that at home, but last year at work we did not have power for three days AND we worked in a residential area. How people cope at home without power, I could just not imagine. What about babies? Generators and solar power can help to a certain extent, but what about those who don't have or can't afford generators.The power cut was due to a major strike in the country. I am all about better pay and work conditions, but don't destroy the country and economy and lives to prove a point to bosses and government. We had a generator so we were only affected by the constant loud drone of the generator and strangely we had no internet during those three days. It was either extremely slow or non existent and I remember having to send an urgent email, an invoice, otherwise we would not get paid, the usual story of we always come here and will pay when we get home, which never materializes, then we are the bad ones for daring to ask for payment. Anyway so I had to send this email and although home was only 10 minutes away, with no traffic lights working it would have taken much longer, so I put my laptop in the boot of my car,  opened and connected to our sharelink, also in the boot. I could not leave it on the seat, in case of a smash and grab, so in the boot it went and off I went and my invoice was sent before getting home. The trials and tribulations of living in South Africa, but at least we are creative and make a plan ;-).

Laptop & Sharelink in boot searching for network 5 Sep 2013

No Network Signal

That was the only time we were affected by power cuts for so many days, but it happens all the time in suburbs all over South Africa. I hate getting on the band wagon of the negativity in South Africa,but it is a fact that we have a power crises. I moved to Weltevreden Park at the end of 1984, from Durban, yep 30 years ago  and what I remember of those days were the power cuts we had and it was always at dinner time, or I should say when we were making dinner. It was also often enough to remember and not just once in a blue moon, so how wonderful was it "back in the day". Never mind the fact that most of the South African population had no electricity and no running water, there are still too many without electricity, but a huge amount of the population do now have electricity and now we all face power cuts and load shedding not only the whites and the privileged few like in the past. So do we have an excuse to not honour Earth Day, because we have so many power cuts or is Earth Day more than just switching off lights. We have Solar Power, so would using that count as honouring Earth Day, or would it be cheating and just hypocritical considering that the Solar Power uses a car battery for power and we all know the lead in car batteries is so bad for the environment.

Solar Powered Lights

Our solar powered lights are pretty bright, in fact they are much brighter than our actual lights. Our house has the worst lighting ever. With all the rain over the past month, in fact months, our roof started leaking and one day, I came home from work to fetch something and I walked out the dining room into the passage and not even two minutes later back into the dining room and the Solar Light came loose and is now hanging from the cord. It looks terrible and now that the rain has stopped  is no longer that all day relentless rain, we have to get the roof fixed and the ceiling and light fitting. On Friday it was the pool pump. We had to fix that first, because there was a leak by the pump and all the water was pouring out the pump. With all the rain we had the pool should have been overflowing, but it was getting lower and lower until we discovered where the leak was. It was such a waste of water, because we lost a huge amount, even with keeping the pump off - and now have a green dirty pool, full of worms.

Thanks To The Rain A Broken Solar Light Fitting

Back to Earth Hour, which will be in exactly 10 minutes, will we be honouring it. I am not too sure, Mark and Chad are out and I am not too keen on sitting in the dark on my own and if they were here would we be honouring the whole idea of Earth Hour, by saving electricity and getting back to honouring communication and each other. Blackouts years ago was a time to chat and play games by candle light. Our game was General Knowledge and it was a real "Ah no" moment, because the lights came on and we were still playing and then it was back to TV. Since the invention of smart phones, what will really changes during Earth Hour, other than saving electricity. We will all still have our heads down in a world of technology, grunting at each other, more interested in someone's Face Book Status;  Tweet; BBM or Whats App etc than those around us. We certainly won't be honouring quiet conversation and family time.

Happy Earth Hour 2014 - Lets Save The Earth & Not Destroy It Anymore Than We Already Have.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...