Friday, March 26, 2010



There I was in my classroom as my students had just left for extracurricular activities and Ka-BOOOOOM! It sounded as though a bomb had gone off in my classroom. The light flashed brightly then went out and seemed to have exploded on the inside. My room smelled like burnt electrical wires.

After my initial scream, with my hands still trembling and heart racing, I went out in the hall to see what had happened. Apparently all the power in the school had gone off. Thankfully that's all it was. Something electrical had indeed exploded and it sounded like it had happened in my room. I was especially frightened because I’d seen on the news the night before that a bomb had gone off on the Pacific Coast of Colombia where several people had been killed and there was tremendous devastation. It was 7:19 am, the high for today was 95, kids leave school at 3:30 and I leave at 4:00, it was going to be a long day with no air. Oh, and when the power goes off here, the water does too, which means no hand washing and no toilet flushing.

Miraculously, within an hour most of the electricity in the school had returned. What a relief, because it was really getting hot. The air conditioning was back on in the library where I was preparing lessons. When I walked back down to my room for class, the janitor said to me, “Meess, no enciende la luz o aire, por favor. AquĆ­ todavia no sirve.”
So, the electricity was back on in the rest of school…except my classroom.

As a teacher I rotate and the students stay in the same room. By the time I had to teach in my classroom, it was the afternoon and my students were melting. The high of 95 had been reached and had surpassed that in my classroom. I felt sorry for my sweaty, wilting kids.

At the end of the day I asked the head secretary if there would be power in my room the next day. She didn’t know that there hadn’t been any all day, although the janitors knew. She assured me there would be. Hmm, power in my room tomorrow, I’d say it’s about a 50/50 chance, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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