Mid-afternoon yesterday here in Panama City, the lights went out. Air conditioners, too. In the office…at our home…
When we started asking around, we found that the power was out all over. Traffic lights were black…stores, banks, and restaurants were dark…and everybody, everywhere was offline.
“Have today’s e-letter dispatches been mailed yet?” we asked our trusty Webmaster Manuel. “Uh, I’m not sure,” Manuel replied. “I was in the middle of setting them up in the system for broadcast when the electricity went out.”
“OK, everybody head home. If you find you have power at home, work from there. Whoever is able to get online first, make sure that the day’s mailings get out. That’s the most important thing. We’ll see you all mañana…we hope…”
About four hours later, the power came back on across the city. This morning, Alberto, our driver with his ear to the ground, explained what had happened.
“You know, it’s the cane season,” Alberto began. “And, out in Chiriqui, the farmers are all harvesting. Before they harvest their fields, they burn them. They start fires to scare away all the snakes. Otherwise, there’d be snakes in the sugarcane!
“But, yesterday, the fires got out of control. They got so big that they blew up the main transformer. The power was out from Chiriqui all the way to Colon. And, because the power was out, the water treatment plant couldn’t operate. So we had no electricity and no water. But it’s all fixed now. All taken care of. The farmers are back at work…”