Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19, 2013 - Weirdest Night Ever

Last night was a really bizarre one. The story is prefaced with the note that we have a lot of power issues here. There are 3 phases of electricity running into our house, and only one of them is any good. Our generator is set up to automatically turn on when even one phase isn't working fully. This means that we are on the gennie allllll the time these days...or at least it feels that way at about $10 an hour for diesel to run it. Tis the season.

But last night the situation got weirder at around 9 pm. The generator was on, Kristoffer and I were about to watch a show.  Suddenly a fuse blew and we had a blackout. It is pretty weird to have a fuse blow when you are already running the gennie, especially because we hadn't turned anything on or plugged anything new in. We went down to investigate: we turned the gennie off, flipped the master switch in the fuse box back on, and turned the gennie back only to have the fuse blow again. And again.  And again.

The benefit of living next door to your landlord is that you don't feel too bad calling her at 9 pm when you have a blackout. She sent her very handy son over and also called an electrician immediately. Between the three of us (and really I mean the two of them...I wasn't that helpful!) we were able to isolate which fuse was the problem and got power back in most of the house; we also told the electrician to just come back in the morning.  It seemed to just be our outside security lights that were not working.


Come to find out that there was a new night time security guard (NG = night guard) on duty. It was his first night at our house, and actually we suspected that maybe he plugged something in to one of the outdoor outlets and blew the fuse in the first place. But then little red flags started popping up in my head that we've never had a problem with our security lights the entire year we've lived here and now suddenly with the arrival of a new NG they don't work?  Stranger things have happened in East Africa than security guards having elaborate plans to rob a house.

We also have three panic buttons, including one that the guards are supposed to keep around their necks all the time.  Kristoffer noticed that the new NG was not wearing the panic buttom.  Another red flag.  So he told him that he had to have it around his neck at all times.

Now with our paranoia fully intact, we went into partial lockdown mode. Made sure all windows were closed (even though there are bars on them, somehow the screens made us feel safer?), all four doors to the outside were locked and double bolted, inside doors were also locked except to the kids and our bedrooms.  We were thankful for 3 security dogs and hoped for the best.

Then Kristoffer's phone rings at 10 pm and it is the security company saying that someone has pushed the panic button and could Kristoffer please go out to the gate to let the backup team in.  Well...THAT was also fishy because if the guards are planning an attack then of course we don't want to go outside!  But Kristoffer seemed to think that the NG misunderstood him and pressed the panic button instead of just wearing it.  He got the NG to open both gates for the security team (at night we are double gated!) and then went out to sign off on us being fine.  Fine, but thoroughly weirded out.

There was no raid on our house during the night, thankfully.  But when we woke up this morning we had no water because the water pump was powered by the fuse that is broken.  Maybe it wasn't the NG after all...maybe it was just the water pump having the breakdown.  And so maybe all of our worry was for nothing.  But we tend to err on the side of caution here.

At any rate, there is an electrician here today to try and fix the busted fuse.  And we are trying to decide if we request a new NG or give the guy another chance.  We are ever so grateful for such a kind and responsive landlord.  She's really amazing.

Electricity, security and water problems all at once? Just another day in the life!

1 comment:

AwkwardCara said...

Mrs. Mueller! It's me, Carolin.
To this day you are my favorite teacher. Thank you for igniting my passion for literature, and writing.

So excited to have found your blog, and to be able to peek into your awesome life.

Hope you are well!
I will stay tuned.