Electricity, like many other resources in Tanzania, is apparently in scarce supply. The hostel I’m staying in and the rest of Shirati have been experiencing blackouts the entire week. When they started at the beginning of the week, we were told by the locals that blackouts usually occur regularly once or twice a week, but not for longer than a day at a time. The reason why blackouts are so recurrent are not because of weather or structural damage, but it is because the government purposely alternates turning off power to certain districts in an effort to conserve energy. The regular blackouts have become a fact of life. This blackout, however, went on for 5 straight days and affected the entire country. The power just returned this evening, and it’s uncertain how long it will stay. One this is for sure though, the government has not released the reason for the extended blackout and local businesses are suffering.