I must have arrived on the cusp of the rainy season. Late last week the water-soaked clouds rolled in and have stayed in place ever since, periodically dropping their wet load on the lands below – when they do all hell breaks loose, rain is very noisy here compared to the sound of rain in Manchester by the sea.

Black-outs are becoming more than once daily occurrences. We are learning to work alongside the loud hum of the generator in the hotel courtyard. It intrudes into our hall with its already poor acoustics, mixing with the sounds of the street as we revert to old fashioned airconditioning: open windows.

Still, at 1:30 AM early this morning the electricity was on, allowing me to connect via the internet with fellow trainees in my coaching program for our required telephone calls. One member of our team is from Argentina, another from China and three of us from the US. We had China and Benin on the phone, midnight for me, early morning for China. These calls are part of our many graduation requirements: 10 more such phone calls, during which our task is to learn more about executive coaching. Managing this during my travels is a bit of a challenge. There is another call on the program tonight.

My bathroom is modern, newly tiled and gleaming but there is not enough pressure to use the shower. The gizmo that attaches the shower head to the wall is already broken, as it is in most (less than 3 star) hotels I frequent.

The faucet produces only a small trickle. It takes about 15 minutes to fill the large plastic bucket. Its presence and the small plastic bowl inside it should have been a clue – I am to take my showers the old fashioned way – fill the bucket and scoop water over myself. At the end of that ritual everything in the bathroom is wet. I am lucky to have my own bathroom. Next week, when I will be camping on Cape Cod I will have a functioning shower but have to share it with other campers.

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July 2013
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