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Déchargé (Monday, 2010 November 15)

November 15th, 2010

Gosh! Haven’t written in almost a week. Partly that’s due to not having power; it rained Wednesday and power went out during club, and then steadfastly didn’t come back for the rest of the week, nor the weekend either. Strangely enough, power was back in the rest of the village, but not here at my house or the school. It finally just came back in my last hour of 4e.

During this time I gradually used every single electronic device I had until it was completely out of power. In English we have a clumsy phrase "out of power", but in French you can just say "déchargé", discharged. Whereas the English word "discharged" brings to mind all sorts of other meanings — "I discharged my duties.. as a soldier in the Army of the North!" .. "The patient presents with a variety of discharges.".. etc.

It’s kind of fascinating the kinds of social structures that exist here for the unreliable power situation. You can ask a storekeeper to charge your cell phone for a while, or leave it with a friend, or go over to their house to charge stuff. I ended up going over to Cristina’s, she’s the other volunteer here, she lives about an hour away, for four or five hours to make an attempt to charge everything, mp3 player, handheld game, electronic ink reader, laptop, spare battery.. I didn’t get everything, but I got enough to make it to here and now, so I guess that’s enough.

Being without power for a period of time like that is a very interesting experience. I became lethargic, unmotivated. I have five classes of quizzes to grade but all I wanted to do was lie down or go to bed. I don’t think it’s just me, either; Marie-Chantal said something about how when the power is out, you just want to sleep, you don’t feel like working.

There’s a lot of other stuff to write about, but it’ll probably be a little while..


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