Humble Pie it ain’t! However I certainly thought of the song many times during our 47 day run without the modern convenience of electricity. In truth I never expected to wait 47 days for the supply to return as the city of Roxas was lit up within 14 days of bad girl Yolanda visiting. After all we do live in the beach community which is the small tourist attraction for our small city. But this is the Philippines.
Living without the convenience of power with a 2 year old can be a large challenge. Personally I had no problem with it other than the “after the storm heat” could not be lessened with the aid of air conditioning or the cool breeze of a fan. I rather enjoyed the candle lit nights and the quiet days of no television or blaring music from the beach front.
The quiet of the day other than Reez running the floors and directing our activites (lol) was quickly interupted by the sound of generators powering the tools need for rebuilding and the load roar of chain saws slicing and dicing trees both to clear roads, pathways and to create wood planks for rebuilding homes. Most of the residents of our small community disengaged their generators about 9 pm as the expense of fueling them was quite high. Some however chose to run them all night to power their air conditioners and the distant hum of the generator would be heard until early morning. We only ran ours from 6-9 pm to give us light to conduct our nightly activities and to provide Reez with a fan while he fell asleep.
As time marched on many things became apparant. We were certainly tiring of the lack of convenience that the hum of current can provide. Our new stove that we had the pleasure of cooking on for 28 days is ignited with electricity therefore it was back to the gas burners located on the outside kitchen. Eden missed her washing machine the most aside from the air conditioning which we sleep with at night. I helped as much as possible and I will attest washing, rinsing and drying clothes by hand is not for the weak. My hat goes off to her more than once. Even though during the summer time we enjoyed cool showers sometimes many times a day we had become accustom to a warm/hot shower at night before bed during our brief 28 day experience in our new house before Yolonda visited. Again we had to adjust to cold showers before bed. My ever resourceful wife however solved the problem with a 35 gallon plastic trash bin and hot water boiled on the gas stove. What a pleasure that was at the end of a hot primitive day.
In addition one of the most grueling events we had to endure was hearing that all our friends and nearby neighborhoods being lit up yet we sat dark. Finally after nearly 4 weeks I started to inquire with the electric co-op as to the reason we had been bypassed. I was informed that we are a private entity and that we owned all equipment in the sub division. After checking with the owners and homeowners assoc I found out that we donated all exisiting poles, wiring and transformers to the electric co-op over 4 years ago. In fact they had replaced many poles and wires after Frank 4 years ago. As it turns out the graft and corruption of the Philippines even extends to the electiric co-op. They wanted money under the table to do the work therefore we hired outside men to do the work. Sad to say if the communication between the owners, the homeowners and the electric co-op would have been open we would not have had to wait until the 4th week to start 2 weeks of work. This is a great example of the people’s complacent nature. They are so accustom to being exploited and taken advantage of that the entire population sat in the dark and made no attempts to resolve the situation waiting for it to fix itself.
Thus on December 23 at 9pm in the evening, 47 days after Yolanda visited us and stole our normal way of life we had power. This update has been a long time coming as the work of rebuilding has consumed us since the power returned. So we are pleased to announce that last week, almost 3 months after that windy day we were reconnected to our landline providing hi-speed internet and cable tv. I can say Reez is very happy…lol.
The rebuilding work I mentioned is a volunteer effort to rebuild hundreds of homes and shelter for those who lost everything in the storm. Blog entries and pictures are forth coming.
So is live in Roxas City.