Books By Patti Liszkay
Available On Amazon
and the sequel, "Hail Mary" https://www.amzn.com/1684334888
Available on Amazon.
It was hot on Monday, in the upper 80's. Then on Monday night a thunder storm rolled in with pounding wind and rain, and the next day the temperature in Central Ohio soared into the high nineties. By late Tuesday afternoon, with the local power grid battered by the previous night's storm,
However it was announced that the power blackouts across the area were in fact intentional: American Electric Power, the provider of electricity for Columbus and vicinity, had instituted rolling outages around town to prevent the entire power gird from shutting down and making it even harder to restore electricity to Central Ohio.
So over the next three days as the heat lingered in the mid-to-high-nineties some businesses were forced to shut down while their power was off,
For example, my son Tommy and his fiancée, Emily,
Thus we Central Ohioans sweated otherwise and coped our way through a hot half-week of rolling blackouts.
But this round of rolling blackouts reminded me of another episode of rolling blackouts I once experienced.
In 2006 my daughter Claire spent most of the year working in the jungle on the outskirts of León, Nicaragua.
Claire sharing a bus ride with a load of melons.
Every night at 7 pm the lights would go out in the convent in León where Claire lived on the weekends and where I stayed while I was there.
And so nightly rolling blackouts in León, Nicaragua were business as usual.
I know that the power came back on every morning at 3 am because every night I lay in bed sweating, then at 3 am by my watch the room fan would whirl back to life with a great "whoosh" and finally the room would get cool enough for me to fall asleep. (I suppose it was fortunate that I visited in October during the wintertime when the temperature seldom rose above 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Had I been there in the summertime the temperature likely would have been another ten degrees hotter. Still, I swear I never sweat so much in my life as when I was in Nicaragua).
So why would there be a chronic water shortage?
The answer was explained to me by my wonderful young teacher at the language school in León where I spent my mornings learning Spanish while Claire worked.
My teacher, Zorayda, in our classroom in León (Unfortunately my photography skills back then left something to be desired).
I once told this story about the rolling power/water outages in Nicaragua to someone who commented that it wasn't fair to those who paid their bills to have to do without because of those who didn't pay. I explained that Nicaragua was a very poor country. At that time, as today still, Nicaragua was the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere after Haiti. According to Zorayda, it wasn't always the same people who weren't paying their bills. Someone might be able to pay one month, but not the next, while someone else might be able to pay that month, but might not have paid for a few months prior.
And so that's the way León, Nicaragua opted to take care of the problem. Like the song says, "Today for you, tomorrow for me."