Pierre, our electrician

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, von Michael Stamm

After a couple of days in the house, we recognized many small issues e.g. a lamp was not working, the electrical outlet was out of order, the connection did not work with the swiss plugs, etc. pp.

Togo

We called an electrician to take care of it. The guy who came by, his name was Sunday, unfortunately was not able to change a lamp! He was really friendly but obviously very limited in terms of skills. ‘Ok’ we thought ‘this can wait’. For some appointments we left for Togo the next day and wanted to take care of the electric after our return.

When in Togo, I received a message from the house guard saying that there was no electricity in the house. My first thought was about all the Swiss goods in our fridge – among others, chocolate and cheese. We pleased the night guard to buy some solar lamps and knew that there was nothing more that we could do until our return. Over here in Benin, it is almost impossible to ask the service provider to start the work before you did a pre-financing, so they can buy the equipment. On top of this, if you are not present, you might be surprised with the amount of the bill.

Arriving late on Sunday, Prunesse, the 2nd electrician was kind enough to help us. After 4 hours working in the dark, he realized, that one cable has literally burned, and he needs to change it. So he went to the market (yes, on Sunday evening!), found a new cable and fixed the issue.

Two weeks after, the cable was blown again! Now we started to realize that this must be taken seriously if we do not want to set the whole house on fire!!

So we looked for a another electrician, Pierre – who became our best friend! Today I joke with him telling him that during the first month in Parakou I saw him more than my wife. Among other activities he fixed

  • our regulator (you need this devise to control the huge tension variation in order not to burn your domestic equipment)
  • the gas cooking unit
  • the washing machine

And he installed

  • a power generator (there are quite often electricity shortage which can last up to 1 day)
  • the “terre” (he realized the house was so badly installed that there had no connection from all plugs to the earth, which is a potential danger in case of lightnings.

Anyways, we are now happy to see that everything works and that we found the best electrician in Parakou who become a friend!