I thought I'd start a new series of posts regarding African luxuries - things that aren't essential to survival but certainly make life a whole lot easier if you have them.
Just before our arrival in Gabon, Joe's company began installing generators at every expat household. The generator is big; it holds 100 litres of diesel and can power most of the house. If needed, it could keep us out of the dark for 2 days without a fill up.
The electricity goes out fairly regularly here. At our last house, we needed the generator at least once a week but in our new location, the power seems to be much more stable. Sometimes the cuts last for an hour or 2, other times it's several hours or days. The generator starts automatically and it shuts off automatically when the electricity returns. The only thing we need to worry about is keeping it topped up with diesel.
Unfortunately, our apartment seems to have 2 separate electricity lines and the generator is only tapped in to one of them. We didn't realise how bad it was until the power went out one day and literally, half of our apartment was without power. (Funny enough it's not just the right side or the left side; it's the AC in one room and lights in another or one outlet works but not the next. Nothing an extension cord can't fix though.)