Monday, March 31, 2008

Life in our Village

- Sonja Mckenna -

And then there was darkness!

On Friday evening, 7 March, as we laid the table outside for supper, I confidently announced to my American visitors that they needn’t worry about rain; after all we do live in a desert.

“What about blackouts,” they asked.

“Oh those, no, they don’t happen very often and usually they last for only a few hours,” I replied!

Fortunately, the parents enjoyed their candlelit dinner inside and the toddlers their bath by candlelight while the hostess mopped up the leaks from the torrential downpour. I don’t think they’re going to believe anything I say in future.

And “the Blackout”, what happened there?

My neighbour and I entered into a discussion over this, while I was hanging up washing and he was watering the garden some days later.

En toe vertel hy my sy storie. Agtuur in die oggend, die Saterdag, begin hy bekommerd raak omdat sy yskas, vol vleis, vis en hoender, begin afloop het.

Toe besluit hy om Eskom te bel – Beaufort-Wes – en toe kom hy by 'n sentrale plek in Bloemfontein uit. Die dame kon hom geen inligting gee nie – en sy was nie eers bewus waar Prince Albert is nie.

Hy besluit om Prince Albert se noodnommer, 08222 00848, te skakel. Die man wat geantwoord het, kon ook geen inligting verskaf nie. Eerder vir hom gesê hy moet sy vleis, vis en hoender aan behoeftiges vat en uit deel – dan sal dit nie vrot word nie.

Who is responsible for reporting power outages in our town? Could we have her or his number so as to remind her or him to do so? And could the person answering the emergency number be better briefed – so we don’t remain “in the dark!”

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