No matter where you are in Africa, power outages can be quite common. The good thing is that everybody is prepared for them, such that hospitals and other places where electricity is vital, have fuel emergency generators. I remember some years ago, on my first trip to the continent, that I was sitting in somebody’s home and chatting with a group of people over some beers and food, when suddenly the power went off. The people I was with just continued chatting as if nothing had happened, only now in the pitch black darkness. After five minutes or so, my eyes had adapted to the darkness and I could see my friends again. I asked, what we would do now that the power is off? One of my friends replied: “Well, the same that we did before. Just that now is romantic hour“. Saying this he magically made a candle and matchsticks appear on the table.”As we can’t do anything else, we’ll keep talking to each other” he said, and lit the candle. (Of course, there are also other things I imagined couples to do during romantic hour, but that wasn’t explicitly stated)
There is something calming and comforting in sitting around a candle or a fire, talking to people you like. To me, romantic hour is like an unexpected present of time you get and you can use to spend in a way that is different rom the rest of the day.
So, like I proposed here, I don’t mind at all to voluntarily reduce energy consumption. I took this picture yesterday evening when the only light in our house came from 2 energy saving bulbs in the paper lamp. It was quite romantic.