We’ve got the power!
so I’m standing in my kitchen listening to
the generator humming along, the orders
being called, the buzz outside of the
customers, the washing of the dishes... a
usual Saturday trading, or so it seems...
driving here I notice the tolerance of the
traffic chaos - day seven without
electricity... I also notice the intolerance
at some corners, the impatience whilst
filling jerry-cans with diesel for the
generators, the bargaining for fire-wood
next to the road, the friendliness of the
tar-rolling crew building a new slip-way
in Lynnwood road... the willingness of
the taxi drivers to help regulate the
crossings where we suddenly expect at
least some points-men’s presence to be..
- all of this on a cold morning with the
creeping cold-front on far sky-line...
I passed the huge banner stating “when
South Africa calls we answer #answerthecall”
...somehow what we aim for every day
here at the shop...
I instruct the hostess, doorman, waiters,
managers to give lots of love, care,
support, understanding - life may seem a
bit of a mess for most of our local
patrons this week... and for some here
just another day in Africa, and its
challenges and struggles and beauty...
years ago, (many many years ago!) I
cooked a lamb shank dish in a black pot
on the fire under the African stars and
thought to myself “The Naked Chef”
would’ve been proud!
these days I don’t know if
Mr. Jamie Oliver feels the
struggles we feel now that he is finally
trading in Gauteng, but like him we’ve
all come a long long way...
last night looking at my “Le Creuset
kettle” on the braai-rooster next to the
black pot, this week filled with water for
washing, I am proud this time... proud
to be able to teach my neighbors how to
camp inside their house, make a washing
line across the lawn, how to use a solar
panel to charge up the electric
toothbrushes, watches, camp-lights
(sigh!), do washing in the bath, cook on
fire (who would've thought that we
could ever get tired of braaing!), but
most of all, how to do all this under
I am grateful for children finally playing
in the streets around the house again, the
tech-stations rendered incapacitated at
least for another day or so,
grateful for our generator at the shop,
grateful for the sight of black pots on fire, but mostly
grateful that we still have all of this
under Africa’s stars