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The Blackout

I cherish the memories of the blackouts we used to have in Brazil. At the time, I didn’t understand that it could cause so much damage. Now I do.

In my home, though, a blackout meant that it was time to connect. It felt like a sacred time for me. We would light candles and share all kinds of stories. We would play games and sometimes pray for the energy to come back.

The ‘regular’ blackouts have taught me to never miss a deadline and to plan things in advance. I would never go to bed without styling my hair, because if I left it for the next morning, just before going to school, chances were that I would have a bad, really bad hair day. The same goes for printing school work. I learned to print them a week before their deadline, which worked well for me.

In my grandmother’s house, in the north of Brazil, there was no hot water until the beginning of the year 2000. This transformed the act of taking a shower in a ritual. We had to boil water in her wood oven, put it in a small bucket and wash ourselves with the help of a mug. The weather in the north of Brazil is so warm - 30 to 35 degrees Celsius - that most of the time, a cold shower was a delight.

Can you imagine having a blackout nowadays, in the age of Instagram where pretty much everything we do is in the clouds or requires Wi-Fi?

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