Saturday, May 4, 2013

By the Time You Read This Note, I'll Be Gone. Love, Electricity


I work online, so I keep kicking myself every time I haven't prepared for the power to be out (downloading students' assignments ahead of time) or for outright squandering electricity-time doing other things (writing for you here). When we first moved to San Francisco de Macoris the end of July, the power was regularly out for about 5 hours on Wednesdays, then maybe one other day a week for about 2 hours. Well, times they are a changin'.
In the last week, we've had one day with power all day. One. Yesterday, I sat down with my cup of coffee at 8:30 am, ready to go and 17 minutes later, the power was cut. Until 4:20 in the afternoon. Today, its been teasing me off again, on again, like a high-school relationship. As any love-sick teenager would, I asked "why?" earnestly hoping for a legitimate answer to ease the pain. A friend in Santiago told me about some fierce storms that left many sectors without electricity. Oh. Except I looked it up and the company website says it was only in Santiago. My neighbor immediately started flailing his arms and spitting, talking about the government, naming names and cursing the pervasive nature of corruption. I didn't find any recent sources about it, though that does seem to frequently be part of conversation in the streets. Anyhow, I kept looking. Of course, I found this map, but it doesn't give a great visual since it doesn't simultaneously give an idea of population. Sure, they don't use much electricity, but who is there anyway?

"Electricity consumption per country, from CIA World Factbook" Source: Urchin Movement

This next map was an interesting take on the subject. It is beautifully explained here in this .pdf

"Territory size shows the proportion of all people with some electrical power in their homes living there." Source: Worldmapper
Ummm. Where'd Africa go? And the Dominican Republic is looking a bit chubby.
I guess I'll stop complaining now and start downloading assignments before Pretty Power breaks up with me again. Don't cry. She'll be back.

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