German version

In the Dark

Naturally whenever the rain comes, the power goes off in Nairobi. Many people find that extremely annoying - which you can see reflected in the hate of Kenyans towards Kenya Light and Power, which has the monopoly on power distribution here. Not to speak of the millions of dollars in economic value which are probably destroyed by a power outage of more than 12 hours.


But it can also be a very pleasant experience. Without power and therefore the ability to do internet research, I couldn't really do my work today - analyzing our energy consumption here in Nairobi, identifying the main consumers and calculating the related greenhouse gas emissions and potentials to save energy and emissions with biogas and solar power. Without tasks, time looses it's meaning, which in return gives the freedom to just live in the moment. Of course I have to admit that the effect is mainly psychological. But when I happen to sit in the dark - in respect to the photons in the room and in the fiber optics of the internet, which together form my main connection to the world - I just loose the burden of feeling that I have to do all the things daily life is filled with. Which opens the mind to be more conscious, perceptive and reflective of the moment and gives room for spontaneity and fresh ideas. In other words, it triggers true inspiration. The world around us today has become so overfilled with information and opportunity that one of our main tasks is to make decision and make information accessible and usable. It has never in history been easier to learn a random new skill, but at the same time it has never been so hard to disconnect yourself from all the external influences and be with your self for some time. Being temporarily disconnected from the world can definitely ease the latter.

So being set back to what feels like Stone Age (even thought it is how people lived less than a century ago - but the example doesn't work anyways because the change creates the effect not the conditions) can be a really healthy experience: There is time to write a blogpost which I never planned for, to read something I never got around to, to talk with people who are always busy with something otherwise, to eat in the dark and use my fingers instead of the useless silverware, to finally write this mail I never felt inspired for and could not force myself to write, to just sit and think for a while or to pray with real peace of mind. So I appreciate the occasional forced break in every day live here and if you sometimes feel overwhelmed with our totally connected world and like drowning in all the available information as well, maybe you should give it a try to live one day per month without power (it's nearly like going hiking in the mountains).

Dinner in the Dark Sam at the Fire

Only as long as your iPad still has charge and allows you to write blogposts of course ;-)

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