Tuesday, May 29

When the lights went out in Costa Rica

My apologies to all for dropping the blog ball.

It all started about a month ago when I got a call from a friend who informed me that the main electrical power plant in San Jose was "terrorized" with a fire explosion and the electric may be out for WEEKS. He advised me to get up and get in my car (it was 11:30 p.m.) and go fill it up with gas (while there was still gasoline), get water and provisions to carry me through this crisis.

I was half asleep but this wake-up call put the fire under my butt! When I stopped to get gas, it was shut-up tight with an armed guard watching over. He just waved me to move on with the tip of his gun so I didn't ask any questions. I headed directly to Frutastica to load up on stuff and refill my bottles of water. At the store, my mind went completely blank as to what could sustain me for weeks without electric. I ended up with lots of cans of tuna. When I passed back by the gas station, they were open for business and the guard with the big pump action gun was still there and nodded politely. I got gas and headed home to my bunker. By the time I got home from getting all this done, my electric was back on. No terrorist. Who would want to terrorize Costa Rica anyway?
It did get me thinking about the "What Ifs" though.

Since that time, we have had many, many rolling blackouts. Mainly due to the water shortage here. No rain. The hydro plants were running dry. A natural disaster was declared so ICE could receive funding. ICE is government-run monopoly and from my understanding, cannot receive loans. To declare a natural disaster was the only way to drum up funds.

Since then, the rain has commenced and boy, has it. No more severe power outages and Costa Rica has turned back to green and lush. Now, we get set for the next six months of rain. There was practically no rain last year so everyone expects this year to make up for last, especially with La Nina present.

I've been here almost five years and I'm STILL learning. I've learned to keep food (rations) on hand, always have at least five big bottles of water, propane for cooking, plenty of candles and keep gas in my car.

My blog is called "YO-YO" for a reason. You're on YOUR OWN living here.


Jen said...

Glad to hear you're ok and still here. Ya never know. Sometimes it's good to just disappear for awhile. Thinking of doing it indefinately myself for a while.

TICA MACHA said...

Yep, still here. I volunteered at the local small school here and it has really kept me busy and pooped!

Saratica said...

I want to hear more about volunteering at the local school. We are looking into that here...

TICA MACHA said...

Well, get ready for cultural shock 101. I haven't been able to wrap my brain around how to present this new venture of mine without a negative slant. The poverty is incredible and NO support from parents or gov't. Maybe it is different in bigger towns but here in Hermosa, there are 20 kids in one class, ages 7 to 15 with ONLY one teacher. Blows my mind!