Dear Family and Friends,
Whatever I had while I was sick really knocked me for a loop. I am beginning to feel human again, but am still weak. However, I am thankful for the improvement.
If you follow Rich and Nancy or Planet Irony blogs, you are already aware of the water situation in the Andes. Normally, by now, the rainy season is here. For some reason (some say "el nino") the rain has not begun. Where we would normally have an afternoon shower, we are having sunny days all day long. This is having very drastic consequences on our rivers.
Here is a picture of the Tomebamba, the river in front of our condo, we made in March of 2008.
Here is the same scene, but Chuck took the picture yesterday.
Again, this picture was made in March of 2008
and Chuck made this picture yesterday.
The rivers are extremely low which means the reservoir is low. Most of the electricity for Ecuador is produced by hydroelectric generators and without water there is less electricity being produced. (Only two of the twelve turbines are producing electricity at the moment.)
The government of Ecuador has started having roving blackouts in order to curb electricity use.
Every day, for four hours, the electricity is cut in a sector of the city. Everyone shares in the blackout, but while some have no electricity, others do. The four hour blackout rotates in time, for example, yesterday our electricity was out from 3pm to 7pm. Today our electricity went out at 7:00am and will return at 11:00am.
Our condo building has a huge generator. When the city electricity goes out, the generator automatically starts producing electricity so Chuck and I are not really impacted like many others are.
Everyday we keep hoping that the rains will start. I haven't heard how this is impacting the farmers, but I would not be surprised to see the cost of fruits and vegetables increase at the market. We are experiencing first hand just how fragile our eco-system is.
Chuck and I are flying to Quito in the morning. We are meeting our sister-in-law, Carol Watson. Carol lives in Seattle, Washington. She will be visiting us for the next two weeks. Maybe, she will bring the Seattle rain with her.