Saturday, November 15, 2008

It came out of nowhere

At least that is what it seemed like. Today has dawned a gorgeous African summer day, making yesterday's experience seem like something in a dream. Yesterday dawned like that too. I headed to Durban to write my exam with that feeling of awe and... and... actually words fail me here. I can't describe the feeling that a real summer's day in Africa brings. You have to be here. Experience it. It lulled us into a sense of summer happiness. Falsely.

At about 2pm, out of nowhere (I suppose it came from somewhere, we just didn't see it coming) a tornado hit. Sean was in the little town near where we live and luckily was parked underground because from where he was he watched trees being ripped out of the ground. A prefab building collapsed in front of him. It was empty. He went to check. The wind was ferocious. The rain came down in sheets. Thunder didn't rumble. It split the air with its anger. We are about 7km away from where Sean was.

It went from sunny to so dark it may as well have been night time in a matter of moments. I unplugged everything and shut all the windows. We were lucky. We caught the edge of it. The power went out. It made the darkness even more intense. Our garden furniture blew around a bit and the trees were bent in half. One came down in our complex. But that was it. Less than 2ks away our friends house lost its roof, their house is full of water and they still have no power. They are safe though.

Roofs have come off buildings all over the place, trees are strewn great distances from where they were once rooted, cars have been squashed by buildings and trees. The worst damage, as it always seems to be, was in the settlement near where we live. 400 houses were blown away. Over 1000 people are homeless. Cars were blown around. 8 people are dead. 8 so far.

Today you wouldn't know. Wouldn't believe it if someone told you. It is dead calm. The sun is hot at 8am. The birds are calling and the monkeys have come to visit. Out there is the evidence. The devastation of people's lives. And it came out of nowhere.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Conversations with Dad...

Dad prior to going shopping for a braai: Shannon, what's you favourite meat on the braai (BBQ)?
Shannon after earnest consideration: Chips!
Dad: Speechless

Shannon while Dad was donning a suit to go to a funeral: Dad you look like a maniac!
Dad: Speechless

Shannon at 5 this morning when Sean got up to see why all the lights were on: Dad, why doesn't the light on the garanda work?
Dad amused that she has actually checked: because the fitting is broken.
Shannon on a mission: I know how to fix it.
Dad intrigued: How?
Shannon duh!!! Parents know nothing: Don't go to your work. Go straight passed your work to the builders work and tell them to fix it. Builders know how to fix it!
Dad: Speechless

Luckily I was not in the same room as them for any of these conversations as their sincerity would have been ruined by my giggles!!!