I am on the dark side of Pretoria. Today is day 7 without any electricity. I have been very good about it, like most people out there, because it was a huge area of the eastern areas that had no power all this time. I know that I have it good. I know it could have been worse and I know there are thousands and thousands without power all the time.
However, I still want to cry right now. I just am not sure I have it in me for another night without power. I am not sure if my back and fingers are up to doing another load of washing by hand. I do not want to carry pots of boiling water to the bathroom, I just want a hot shower, I want to iron my clothes and I want to relax without worrying about spilling the boiling water or burning down the house with the candles. We have been so careful, but there is still drops of wax on the floor or window sill or kitchen counter.
HB is sleeping with us in our bed because he still needs a night light and we cannot leave him alone in a dark house, in case he needs us during the night. I do not want to terrify him, there is no light anywhere, so it is very dark.
There are only so many board games you can play, and he is not able to entertain himself with hours of reading like hubby and I can do. It is very cold outside and we cannot even do that. He thinks we are lying about the electricity, because he does not fully understand the concept of zones and substations.
Yesterday I had to explain listeria to him (he cannot understand why I will not allow cold meats on our menu). I was a little graphic, because he did not understand the vaguer, vanilla explanations I made previously.
We went to get our gas cylinder refilled yesterday: The gas is finished. There was no gas for a refill. We ended up spending R400,00 more to just buy a new filled cylinder because we were desperate. If there is no power tonight, I have to drive out to go buy dry ice for the fridge and freezer.
The shops are running low on candles too, but that should ease a little as some areas came back into the grid today, but not mine.
Our budget is shot because we have had to fill in with dry ice, gas and power packs to keep going.
I know I speak from a position of privilege, I know this very well, and I feel like a prima donna, but 7 days down the line, and the prospect of more days…I want to cry.
That was written yesterday and I arrived home 2 hours after I left the office. We still had no power and I had to fetch HB and go get the ice and then I just threw it in and bought KFC because I could not face another night of trying to be cheerful. I managed to get myself to wash the clothes and we ate junk for dinner, just because I am almost at the end of the line.
As I write, we still have no power, and we may no have any power when I get home. I am now resigned. I feel incredibly sad and tired and I want to just get home and have that shower and relax, but I know it may not happen. I have to heat food, boil water and hand wash clothes. It is times like these that I miss my family immensely. It would have been good to have family to turn to. We have some really brilliant friends who have taken in some of our freezer items and friends who have offered their washing machines. However, on day 8, we cannot really be imposing on people, though I may take up the offer of washing machines for bed linen and towels. We have to do the bed linen now, I cannot really put it off, and hand washing that may just make me cry more. Family would be easier to impose on, I just am not that comfortable with friends.
However, I will soldier on, because there is not much more to do.
Power came back on Day 9, at 4am. We were so happy. And then on Day 11 it is off again, it is 17 hours without power, and counting. I feel such despair. No one at the municipality cares, they constantly feed us lies, and you cannot plan anything. If yoy knew it will be off for the next five days you can plan. They say 1 hour, 20h09, midnight and you are still waiting days later.
The Councillor for our area is completely useless. She has no oompf in her, I don’t know how she expects to lead. The mayor and his cronies make announcements on the radio etc…. And it is all lies. For a fact, they lie.
Our budget died.
Guys, I am not in a good place. I am failing at dealing with this uncertainty. I can’t sleep, I just eat, and I want to cry at the thought of another cold dark night, and there are thousands in the same boat.