Wednesday, December 15, 2010


When I was growing up in Peru, power outages (un apagon, in Spanish) were not unusual. Apparently neither are they in Tirana - although from what I hear it's much better now than it used to be. We've had three so far since we came; the longest one was Saturday lasting from about 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

It was a gorgeous sunny day but breathtakingly cold; we went out in the morning to see a youth photo exhibit sponsored by World Vision at the national museum of culture. The sky was pure blue but the wind was knife-like. We bundled the kids up well but it still felt soothing and relaxing to come home to an apartment warmed both by passive solar heat through our south-facing windows as well as by electric space heaters.

So we were a little worried when night fell and the temperature dropped even more, because without electricity our heaters didn't work. We lit candles all around the house and lit up the gas burners on the stove but we knew it was a matter of time before the air would grow chill.

We made plans to all sleep in one bed, to keep the kids warm with our bodies and blankets. Terry moved the furniture around so our bed would be against a inside wall. But at bedtime, we put the kids down each in their own bed where they both fell asleep, still warm enough. Thankfully the lights came on around 10 and we were able to turn on the space heaters and turn off our worry.

Well, as much as you ever do, as a parent.

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