WEEK 5 – ACTIVITY – ETHNOGRAPHY

In this week’s activity we had to spend a night with out any electricity, which meant no phones, lights, laptops, etc. I didn’t actually think about how hard this was going to be, but it ended up being a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. Electricity has always been there my whole life. If I needed to see something, I would just flick the light on. If I needed to make food, I’d just press a few buttons on the microwave. I never realized the impact electricity has made on our society today. Everyone knows electricity was important, but we don’t actually know how important it was and sometimes may even take it for granted.

I decided to do my activity on Saturday, September 26 to blog about it the next day. Before starting this activity, I took a picture of my room that I will be staying in. For this activity, I had to strategically plan out my night. I had to shower, eat dinner, and finish homework before the sun went down. I had to remember to shower earlier since I usually shower late in the night. I realized that being in the restroom with the lights off and door locked would be a scene from a horror movie. I didn’t want to give myself a heart attack. I had to ask my parents to eat dinner earlier because I didn’t want to have to eat dinner in the dark since I have family dinners every night. My parents would have thought I was crazy. The last thing I had to do before the sun went down was to finish all my homework so I didn’t have too much to do the next day. After finishing my homework, I quickly ran to the restroom to brush my teeth before the sun went down.

When the sun finally went down around 7:00 pm, I closed my door and locked it. I lit the two candles on each side of my bed and laid in bed. After about five minutes, I started to get really bored. I didn’t know what to do with my spare time. I thought about sleeping, but it was way too early. I also thought about reading the book my friend gave me, but I really don’t like reading. After lying in bed for ten minutes, I started to just sing some songs that have been stuck in my head all week. I tried to distract myself from all the noises coming from inside my house. My parents were watching television downstairs and my younger siblings were playing games on the computer. I was pretty envious that they were able to enjoy all the electricity they wanted.

After singing for five minutes, I decided I should just try to fall asleep. At this point it was probably 7:30 pm, I wasn’t sure since I wasn’t able to check the time. In a way, it actually helped that I wasn’t constantly checking to see what time it was because all I knew was that it was dark. After lying in bed and trying to fall asleep for what seemed to be an hour, I started to get irritated. I always sleep with a fan blowing in my face during the night to keep me cool. Without electricity, I wasn’t able to use my fan. I have three windows in my room, but on my side of the house I never get any breeze. I had no choice but to open all three windows to try and cool off. It somewhat worked, but it still wasn’t enough to keep me comfortable.

After a couple of hours of tossing and turning, I started to feel sleepy from the quietness in my house. I knew it had to be around 10:00 pm because everyone in my house sleeps at that time. The peaceful darkness was actually something I really appreciated from this activity. On an every day basis, I always fall asleep at night watching some Netflix or YouTube. Since no electricity was allowed this night, I laid there and enjoyed the peacefulness. I never realized how soothing silence was. I was able to hear my thoughts. I kept thinking about how hard everything was to do in the dark. How would I shower in the dark? How would I be able to do homework in the dark? I kept thinking to myself about people from poorer countries that can’t afford the luxury of electricity and it made me realize how much I haven’t appreciated it. I always took it for granted since I knew I always had it when I needed it. This activity has made me reflect on myself and to be grateful for what I am privileged to have.

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My room before doing the activity!
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