Monday, June 14, 2010

Flickering Lights

Each afternoon, shortly after lunch, the florescent lights in the office begin to flutter. The UPS units, which provide a few minutes of battery power to the PC's, begin to beep and suddenly the office is plunged into darkness.

Life in Dili, lately.

The power interruptions are becoming more regular -- and are lasting longer.

Saturday, one line into the compound was off seven hours -- which meant no water. I also noticed the refrigerator was off -- so I re-routed it to a working outlet.

Today, the power went out and the generator worked, but it was sickly. It was belching smoke and whining most of the afternoon. I expect it will need replacing. When it runs, all the air conditioners must be turned off -- most computers don't work and we're lucky if the server -- which supplies internet -- keeps working.

Yet....we're lucky. These power interruptions are nothing compared to what people living outside Dili have to contend with: no power -- all day, every day. It comes on each evening at 6pm and goes off around midnight. Like I said -- we're lucky.