Isnt that just the way it works? Everything seems to be movin’ right along, going smoothly, then suddenly the day changes and the shit hits the fan. Hah! Things have been going pretty smoothly for us. I mean, it’s never really especially ‘calm’ up here in our world, but, ahem… stuffs going pretty darn good. Good, but not easy, cuz’ if you didn’t notice we didn’t really sign up for ‘easy’! I mean, come on! We moved to Central America and signed up for a full blown ‘Adventure’ , right? hah! When you want a simple life, one filled with predictable stuff you don’t pack up and start your life all over again in an entirely different country, right? Not to say life doesn’t provide plenty of challenge no matter where you happen to live, but lets just say, we happened to have requested and extra portion of potential shit-hitting-the-fan-days! hahahahahaha! So, here we are….
I’m being a little dramatic. Don’t get all worried about us and start sending me emails about how worried you are ,and hoping we are okay. All is really well, I’m seriously kinda joking….sorta! Its not anything life threatening! No one is hurt or sick and our house is still standing. We just had a little ‘glitch’ concerning that glorious electricity we finally got not all that long ago. Remember how we decide to buy a piece of land up in the mountains that had zero infrastructure? We had to figure out how to get things like water and electricity up here? And, remember how we were living with a gas powered generator for soooooooo long? I’m sure you remember how we recently finally got the power up to the house, got ourselves all signed up for an account with the local power company? Yep…well, today things with our power went a little bit wrong…ugh!
We had experienced a tiny little power glitch on Sunday, waking up to the realization that we had no electricity. Usually power outages here are not so uncommon. The power might go out for short periods of time, but it never usually lasts for too long. But Sunday our power never came back on. So, I asked our neighbor if she had power and lo’ N’ Behold she did have power! Gulp! This meant it was only US! Not the entire area! So, we went down to our tapia, which is where our power is connected and found that our main breaker had tripped. Scott reset it and voila! Power came back on! No problema. It was strange, but we thought we would just wait to see if it happened again before really worrying about it. But, it happened again the next day. We knew it was not something that was happening as a result of a person flipping the switch, because if this were the case it would be in the OFF position not the TRIPPED position on the panel. Something else was causing our panel to trip. Today the problem revealed itself in the form of a loud bang “like fireworks” (according to one of our guys who heard it”) and smoke coming up from one of the boxes where the power lines run up the hill, underground.
Now, Scott decided it was time to contact the electrician! He sent him an email explaining the problem and, as Scott is so good at doing, decided to wait patiently for a response…but,( me, being the ’not quite so patient’ kind of gal ) I quietly went to get my phone and sent the electrician a WhatsApp message. Hah! Which got me an immediate response! In my mind, this was just what was needed in this case! As I heard Scott directing the guys to move the generator over near to the panel of our house I was ready to scream! I could feel my blood pressure rising! We’ve been here before! I really, really don’t want to be living on power provided by a generator! NO!! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that we have that life saving generator but I don’t plan on depending on it for any longer than absolutely necessary! So, patently waiting for an email response was not on my agenda. With a smile on my face I went outside and told Scott that the electrician had already sent us a WhatsApp response. I left out the fact that I had sent him once first, Scott just assumed the email he sent had prompted the timely response, hah. Who knows how long it would have taken for him to see our email. Here in Panama I’ve found using WhatsApp is the best, most efficient way to communicate with most Panamanians. And in this case my plan to get in touch with our electrician for help as fast as possible worked like a charm.
The electrician sent one of his technicians up right away. Of course I was at the gas station filling up our gas cans for the generator when he called on my phone. As you know I’ve been studying Spanish and making good progress but trying to understand Spanish on the telephone is not easy, especially with all the background noise from the gas station, ugh! In order to understand what the electrician was trying to say I had to get back into my car, roll up the windows and ask him to repeat what he was patiently trying to say to me. His technician was on his way and so tell Scott to meet him at our tapia. I quickly texted Scott and told him to go to the tapia asap. When I got home I learned what the problem was. Apparently the distance from our house to the connection to our tapia is such a long distance that we were not able to buy one long cable long enough to reach. We instead had to buy two cables and connect them partway up the hill with a ‘connector’. This is where the problem was. Apparently the thought is that this part they call a ‘connector’ has somehow gone bad. Scott is suspicious that they didn’t install it correctly from the start, but, shrug, who cares at this point. I’m just glad they know what the problem is. Today the technician was supposed to return at 7:30am to work on fixing our problem. In case your wondering, right now as I’m typing this, it is 8:30am. (eye roll) Not unusual, didn’t expect them to be here when they said.
One reason this problem has me so stressed is because this time not having electricity doesn’t just effect the two of us. We now have tenants living in our casita. I could deal with us not having power but we are responsible for providing power to them and I think its important to make sure we get this problem remedied as fast as possible. I know they understand and they’re fine, but Im really hoping we’ll be able to fix it quickly. Even though we’ve got a backup generator providing power its not got enough juice to power two houses completely. Our water heater is electric so we have no hot water, and we had to turn our water pump off so we have very little water pressure, I can’t use things like the microwave or the washer/dryer and we have to be very careful not to stress out the generator or it will just die. And, as luck would have it our tenants had their very first house guest show up last night! hah! A friend of theirs from Panama city came to stay the night with them. Isnt that just “Murphy’s law”! hahaha! We’re so lucky to have tenants who are so sweet and have rolled with the punches with such grace. Of course, they’re Panamanian so they’re probably not nearly as worried about a little thing like this. To me its a huge problem but I think they’ve got way more ’Tranquilo’ running through their vanes and are not one bit stressed.
I’ll let you know what happens. I’m hoping the electrician shows up any moment now and that work is underway to return life back to some semblance of normal. Hey! He’s here!! yea!!! Cross your fingers….