Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

It’s all a matter of perspective….

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When we lived in Ghana, we regularly (ie: almost daily) had electricity or power cuts.  We came to know that “lights out” was a common occurrence, and took the necessary precautions to limit the discomfort.  This included always having candles readily available with matches;  strategically located on the coffee table in the lounge room, and in the kitchen.   In fact, there were numerous times (too many to count) when dinner preparations were by candlelight, as was the eating!   It has certainly changed my perspective on a romantic candlelit dinner, that’s for sure!  Now when I see candle lit tables, all I can think of is that they must have “lights out”!!!

So it was with some interest / wry humour that I read in a recent community newspaper here in Perth…. about a power outage.  The article is written by someone who is clearly incensed that they had “lights out” for ALMOST AN HOUR!!!  (shock, horror!)…..   ah, it really is what you get used to, isn’t it?

Literally our first week in Tamale, we had a lot of cleaning to do in our new home (scrubbing, getting rid of rodents, etc….) and it was made quite a bit tougher by the 35-40 degree celsius temperatures!   Without even the relief of a fan, we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into!   But alas, on day five…. the power finally re-appeared!  We were very grateful for the fan to finally do its job….  although by then our work was mostly done!   (the cleaning, that is!).   Interestingly enough, at that stage, we were really feeling very fortunate…. because local community people living not 50 metres from our home had no running water or electricity at all.  So we were very grateful.

Anyhow, we hope that the next time someone complains about the (temporary) lack of running water, electricity or some other luxury (for many), they will try to put it in perspective!  So much of the world is without these things… and would see them as luxuries, not as necessities as we seem to…..

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Written by Mar(k)

February 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

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