The night the lights went out in Quito

From December 3, 2009

Jesse and I have been having a great time networking in Quito and setting things up for next year!  We love coming back to a place that feels so familiar.  We’re staying at the Grinn House (Pronounced GREEN House), where our artists stayed last year, and eating at the “fish place” and the Mongolian BBQ- places we know and love.  But, one thing is different this time around..

Electricity Cuts!

Quito gets a lot of rain-  47.5 inches Average Annually- so they have installed a hydro-electric system.  It’s pretty cool, and very smart in my opinion, that they’re using their natural resources.  Unfortunately, because of global warming, their rain fall has severly plummeted in the last few months.  J and I have found ourselves in two extremely heavy rainfalls since we’ve been here, but that still doesn’t seem to be enought to get the power working again.  Luckily, in most of Quito, water is heater and food is cooked with gas, but still many businesses run on electricity.

We spoke at length with our travel agent, Lorena from Tierra del Fuego, about how the cuts effect her and her business.  Different districts have different cut times, for example The Grinn House gets cut from 8-10am.  Lorena’s business is in a district which gets cut from 7-9am and her home district cuts from 6-11pm.  This means she is effected by the cuts twice!  There was no choice for her but to find a generator– which, of course, in the height of electricity cuts is impossible.  She actually called out to her employees in the Galapagos who found ONE, the last one in the shop, for her.  They cost from $900 to $1000 bucks.  She said the government is currently purchasing a bunch from Colombia and Peru and getting them shipped in, so hopefully that will relieve some of the strain.

We also had to visit DAT’s emergency dentist, Dra. Karla, because Jesse was having a lot of pain which resulted in a wisdom tooth removal.  Dra. Karla’s office is in a district which gets cut between 10 am and 5 pm.  Can you imagine?  Her office is only open from 9-10 am and 5-7 pm!  How can she get any work done, I asked her?  In order for us to get cleanings, a filling repair for me and his extraction- we have literally been there 4 times!

But, what is there to do?  Simply wait for the lights to come back on.  Jesse and I might grab a rain stick at the market and do a little rain dance in Quilotoa!