This week has been pretty rubbish in terms of living conditions in Abuja. I mean that in the sense that we’ve been very lucky here because generally speaking the power is pretty constant, when it does go off it’s usually just for a short time and so my many torches/handy lights haven’t been getting much use and the water is only off at the weekends.
This week however we’ve barely had any power, even less that I was used to in Calabar. There seems to be varying reasons reported for this, a blast at a mine has been blamed for damaging a substation, five power stations have been reportedly been shut down for maintenance and technical problems at a hydro-power station have also been blamed, who’s to know? The executives of course are spouting on about how they are suffering too it’s not just the people in the communities who are having problems at this time with having no power in their homes but I suspect that the executives can afford to have a generator or two to sort there power issues out. Living where we do in a nicer part of the city there are plenty of people around us who can afford generators so it’s very noisy when the power is out and somewhat rubs our noses in it too as of course we don’t have a generator.
Then the water has been off for most of the week as well. We are used to it being off at weekends and spend a fair amount of time on a Monday evening refilling our water containers so that we have water for the next weekend and indeed should the water randomly go off at any other time in the week as it very occaisionally does. Well this week it came back on on Monday for a brief time and that was pretty much it. We think it’s because some people in the building haven’t paid their bills and there’s only meter for our entire building, this happened last month too but got resolved pretty quickly. It doesn’t make for much fun when you live on the top floor and the only other source of water is in the giant water butts on the ground floor. There is however one alternative which is the handy dudes who sit around with huge wheelbarrows full of jerry cans at 10n a pop, you can signal to them that you want water and they’ll bring it up to you. Despite that I predict that the British Village will see a lot of us over the next few days, Sue and I called in for dinner last night so we could have a proper shower, I did have a swim too but I am not beneath rocking up purely for a shower as I have done in the past!
On our way back home we then had our second shower of the evening. Almost as soon as we left gates the wind picked up which around here usually only means one thing, it’s about to bucket down. Sure enough just a couple of minutes later it started raining, ever so gently at first and then it got biblical, really biblical. We decided to brave it because it was warm and hey we’re crazy white people who trek when we could get a taxi so we might as well be really crazy white people who trek in the rain. It got pretty hysterical at one point the rain was so hard I think I said something like “oh good rain that hurts” and then inevitably I started singing the only song you can sing when you being drowned in the rain, well not singing so much as laughing the words to “we’re singing in the rain”. I literally may as well have jumped in the pool again I was that wet, it had to happen at some point though right, I’m just amazed that it took over three months and technically it’s not even really the rainy season anymore!! I should point out that our walk home takes us a good half hour and we really should have had the sense to get a taxi but both of us decided we didn’t mind a ‘bit’ of rain. If it happens again over the weekend we might just take our shampoo outside with us.