I spent this past weekend struggling in various ways. When I was planning for my trip to Arusha, I knew I wanted to go on a safari. It’s one of those once in a lifetime opportunities and Arusha happens to be the closest big city to the most popular safaris. I figured that I could hop into a group tour and have the time of my life exploring the wildlife of Africa. However, safaris are a lot more expensive than you think (recently got quoted $2000 for a 4 day trip) and finding a group is harder than expected. I spent a big chunk of my weekend frustratedly googling and tripadvisor-ing, emailing and contacting a bunch of safari companies asking for a quote for a 3 or 4 day trip to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire.
That is, until I woke up Sunday morning. First of all, I woke up at 6am which just had me frustrated to begin with. I mean, come on body clock, it’s a Sunday morning after a week of struggling to wake up at 6am. Why did you choose to function on a blissful weekend morning? I tried to fall back asleep, but tha t wasn’t happening so I opened my eyes again at 7am. I got up and went to turn on the light when…no power. I had gone to bed the night before without power, but it was not a big deal since I had downloaded a movie to watch anyway. So I went back to bed thinking, “well, the power has to come on soon” and read a book and waited patiently. Around 9am when I finished the book I had been reading, it was becoming clear that the power had no intention of coming back, so I got up and ate breakfast and continued reading. Soon afterwards, I noticed my Kindle was running out of power (sigh).
Being powerless (in both senses of the word), I alternated reading my Frist Aid book and my Kindle in hopes of conserving its battery. Not having power is not new for me – there have been plenty of instances where I was perfectly content. But, all those instances were when I was around other people, so I never had to entertain myself for a full 24 hours without lights and internet. The frustration got to me and I went to bed, not having had a hot shower, not talking to anyone, and my Kindle dangerously close to dying.
Sunday night there was a huge storm and I woke up at 1am, hearing scary animal noises and loud cracking noises (which I assume now were branches breaking/brushing against my room). I wanted to turn on the light because the dark just seemed too scary and I had spent the whole day previously reading storybooks, so there were plenty of scenarios running through my head about what these weird noises could be. But alas, no power. So I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. At around 3:30am, when my adrenaline was pumping after another big scare, I just gave up, used my iPhone flashlight, my laptop to charge my Kindle, and started a new book. I texted my mom, like any 22 year old woman would do in a storm (lol), still couldn’t fall asleep, and then decided that clinic wasn’t going to happen for me the next day. So I called in sick, slept once the sun came up and I could easily see there weren’t murderers waiting outside my window, and woke up with no power again. At this point, I was over it so I asked Aziza and the security guard, Thomas, what the deal was. Apparently, the administration of ADRA was gone on some trip and forgot to pay the power bill. No one realized it because I was the only one actually living on the property and able to see that the power had been gone for about 40 hours consecutively. Long story short, the power came back on around 4pm and I was in heaven. That lukewarm shower never felt so good.
Oh and one more fun note to end on – there is no washer/dryer here, but I “did my laundry” this weekend. This consisted of two small red buckets, laundry detergent that I bought from home and dumped in one bucket, and clothespins I borrowed from ADRA. It was an experience, to say the least, and I intend on never repeating it. My sweatshirt took 2 ½ days to dry and my socks surprisingly took forever as well. Apologies in advance to the people sitting next to me on the plane rides back home – it is almost a guarantee I won’t be washing my sweatshirt between now and then.