Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blackouts...

In most of the world an electrical blackout looks a little something like this...



In Alotau in the non-rainy season a blackout looks a little more like this...



Yeah I know, nice, trust me if you'd lived through 5-months of virtually non-stop rain you'd realize just how much we're owed this sort of weather. Anyhow I digress and all of you back in Australian drought land will get cross at me if I sound ungrateful for rain, so back on target*.

The thing with blackouts here is that by and large they don't mess with the majority of the population, people are still able to go to the market, to go fishing, to cut kernel at their job at the oil palm plantation, etc, etc... Most of the population of the province (~90%) don't have access to electricity anyway so even those in town can hang tough for a little while because it is kind of just like being in the village.

But why the sudden interest in blackouts? Well as it turns out you can't run a recording studio on coconut oil, and so when you have two days of blackouts (unusual here, the power was pretty reliable until the last couple of months) you end up having two days of no recording...

Two days of hair pulling frustration, two days of driving people up and down from top town to bottom town, two days of having nearly a dozen people who have been preparing for months for this waiting, watching, slipping onto ships (ok, ok, I can't back up that last one).

And most importantly two days less recording time... Which as we edge closer to the end of our year makes for an even more anxious time.

There is some good news for Cam though even as he eeks the last dying minutes out of his laptop, and can't boil the kettle for coffee all of the building sites (three) surrounding our house have generators, so they are still able to run their noisy cement mixers...



* Alotau's annual rainfail is somewhere in 3 - 5 metre range most of that falls, well, always, 5 days without rain is virtually unheardof and more than a week has people crying drought. As to the whole "well send some of the rain this way" comments, we'd be pleased to but as we all know thats not the way it works.

4 Comments:

Anonymous eddie said...

Glad to see Deutsche Bank's donation of three generators to the local people of Alotau has gotten through. The building of Alotau's first Golf Resort can continue!

Bit of a shame to see Cam pulling the hair from his head... There are other parts of his body i am sure that require it more!

Hehe

2:21 am  
Anonymous Tori said...

Love the picture Cam. And the description of the black outs Jane. I can completely sympathise on that one. Power here in the suburb of Delhi I live and work in goes out at least once a day, usually more. And apparently during monsoon (starting to feel glad I'll be gone before then...) it goes out for days at a time, and the streets are not only flooded waist deep sometimes, but pitch black after sunset too...

2:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heya

i see you guys know maxine - well, they say alotau is a small town so no doubt you were bound to meet.

please pass on my hey to her - ask if she remembers kymberley from nau fm - like 100 years ago.

cheers

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hope you come back online soon... Otherwise you can't write about your lack of electricity!

9:07 am  

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