Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Weathering the Storm

Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone leaving Christmas right in front of us. Though we will not be having a white Christmas, we did have at least a small spell of cool days over the last weekend and it made for some fantastic adventures.

On Thursday we were able to spend the night at Brandon and Rachel's place and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal as well as celebrate Brandon's birthday. No turkey, but still plenty to be thankful for, namely good food, good friends, and electricity. Most of our meals live and die by our access to electricity and Thursday afternoon produced quite a storm. Jess and I were lucky to still be at home when the worst came through, sounding like cannons firing across our tin roof. If not for the iron beams that hold the house in place I thought for sure everything was going to collapse on us. After a solid 30 minute pounding the rain slowed and was building up again on the north side of our little 'mountain' (really an oversized hill of rocks). We made a break for the main road to try and stay as dry as we could. Luckily we happened to meet a truck that was heading toward our destination and were able to be dropped off at the front door in Klipspruit just midnight blue clouds and scores of lightning were descending upon the village. Huddling in their house, Brandon and Rachel informed us that their power was out (as was ours in Seleka after only a few minutes of the earlier downpour). The plan was to have BBQ chicken along with mashed potatoes to complement our green salad, cranberry Jell-O salad, pumpkin spiced pudding and banana cupcakes. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds! We had finally bitten the bullet and sat down under candlelight to consume what cold items we had. No sooner were our glasses raised to toast salad and good friends when the fan began to whir back to life. It was music to our ears! With the return of power we were able to enjoy our feast in full under the soft glow of fluorescent bulbs, though we kept the candles for a bit of holiday ambiance.

The following day was wonderful! Overcast, cool and relaxing as we worked together on some up coming projects for next year. Officially through with Thanksgiving we merrily turned up the Christmas music on the radio. Towards dinner time the calm, grey clouds of afternoon transformed into a wall of black that was quickly marching upon us; preceded by rolling thunder and lit with spectacular bolts of lightning. We made the decision to quickly head up to the shop to pick up a few items for dinner. Not the wisest move, but hunger was gnawing at us. The enormous revolving eye of the storm seemed to gather speed the further we got from the house. Just as we were in sight of the shop it was as if a wall had come down on the edge of the village and a flood of wind tore through, whipping up a magnificent dust storm that sent us and the few other villagers in sight running, eyes shielded and shoulders braced, the last 1000m to the shop. No sooner had we taken huddled alee of the storm the rain came. It was not the heavy, damaging rain we expected, but a steady, cleansing rain. The clouds overhead began to swirl and move as they passed. Most ominous was the thunder and lightning. Bolts were striking within what seemed a stone's throw of where we stood and thunder crackled across the entire sky. For almost 45 minutes this continued all of standing mostly silent and just watching. Then slowly the rain began to ease. We emerged from our hiding and happily danced our way home around the puddles and small streams that had formed on the main dirt road, laughing about the fact that when we arrived home we knew we would be without power again.

1 comment:

pat said...

I have spent the last hour or so with your blog and slide shows. Thank you so much for sharing. Some of the photos are priceless and they truly give me a feel for daily life for you. The smiles are brilliant!

We are at the cabin for the New Year. There is snow and snow and snow. If I can get my techs on it we will try to take and send some photos. They would amaze the people in your village as much as your photos amaze me.


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