Sunday, October 3, 2010

When it rains, it pours.

Literally. The rainy season is incredible here. At times there are puddles far deeper than my waist.

But, metaphorically speaking this has certainly been one of the roughest weeks we have known here in Dakar. Visions of jumping on a plane back to the U.S. crossed my mind several times.

Temps are soaring above 100 degrees, and of course, everyday there are massive power outages. Last week, we went some 14, 16, and 18 hour intervals of no power. And as usual, our generator is on the fritz. Sleeping at night has been quite difficult not only for us, but for sweet little Laird and Dylan. We have had to throw out a lot of food, which is not only quite wasteful, but expensive in a country whose food is astronomically priced.

Our only car key is lost at sea. Yes, my dear husband went surfing with our only car key in his surf trunks. In the U.S. this would not be that big of a problem, but we are starting week two of trying to get a key made. No one really knows how long it will take, but we have already been quoted $500 to get the key.... We have been taking taxis to get to and fro... As you can imagine it is a struggle trying to communicate and negotiate in French.

We survived our first baby illness. Three nights ago, Laird woke up crying with a high temperature. He had no other symptoms...just crankiness and a high temp. Richard and I stayed calm as we awaited the 3 a.m. arrival of the emergency service at our home. Of course, we had no power when the doctor arrived. So, we all sat around Laird on the floor while he was examined wearing headlamps and flashlights, with sweat soaking our clothing. We then struggled through a five hour wait for malaria test results. Thank goodness it was negative...just a passing virus.

Our house leaks everytime it rains. Not just a drip or to, but puddles filling our family room and rivers flowing down our stairs. Unfortunately, we also noticed water filling our overhead lighting glass lamps... Yikes.

Dakar is also in the midst of a gas shortage. Luckily, we have no car that needs its tank to be filled and we fortunately refilled our cooking gas just before the shortage happened.

Due to the major power outages, there have been several protests in neighborhoods of Dakar. The last place I want to be is near a third world countries angry demonstrations. To be honest...I get it. I feel the anger everytime there is an outage. Why can't the government do something about this problem? It's infuriating...

Yes, it was one hell of a week. But good news...we survived.

Last night was our first night of sleep with power. Isn't it amazing what a good nights sleep can do? We had a battery inverter installed on the second floor that will run fans and internet during a power outage. Laird is feeling much much better and is now pulling himself to standing on whatever object is available. Dylan is not sick yet.

When it rains, it pours. Luckily the rainy season ends next month.

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