They can't even cut the power right in St. Kitts

I wrote last month about how there was a fire in the St. Kitts power station that damaged two of the largest generators and cut the generating capacity in half. Thus began a period of power outages which started daily and prolonged (8-12 hours, depending on the part of the island) and which has recently improved to 2-6 hours per day or so, at least where we live (Frigate Bay).

Of course, the day after the fire, officials were predicting how this load shedding would be necessary for about two weeks, but everyone who is familiar with how things work here knows that two weeks doesn't really mean two weeks. It means two months, or two years, or however long it takes. Whatever.

Recently, they started cutting power to our area more frequently again. But there is an additional problem: instead of cutting power outright, as they should be doing, the voltage first drops, then rises again, then drops further, then rises. It takes about a minute, maybe two, for the power to really go. Meanwhile, the various appliances - the air conditioners and our voltage regulators - switch on and off, and on and off, beeping as the motors start, then stall, then power up again, then stop, and start again...

Not only is the local power company incapable of supplying the island with reliable power; they don't even know how to shut it down right.

Things are like that in pretty much every aspect of our life here in St. Kitts. Construction is especially like that; see this A je to short film for a highly accurate impression. Everything needs to be done 2 or 3 times because they always destroy X while doing Y, especially if no one is around to tell them how to do things right before there's damage.

But enough carping. We didn't come here for the mad skillz of the local work force, and things are actually improving, although they can't seem to be improving fast enough. For one thing, there is now a real cinema, with recent movies, clean seats and multiple screens. We find it very welcome, and it has increased our going out at least twofold. :)


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