Greetings everyone! And a
special welcome to all the new subscribers! Why not ask your email contacts if they
don't want to subscribe as
New subscribers and everyone else, get your freebie at the
freebie section below. I am
also giving away an eBook with Camping recipes under the recipe section.
After all, it is summer over here in South Africa at the moment! You will
also find hundreds of Christmas recipes in the Mrs Claus Cookbook, just
This will be
the last letter for 2009, I am sending it out a bit early as many of you
will be away over the Festive season. I would just like to wish all
subscribers a blessed and safe Festive season, please drive safely if you
are going to be travelling! Remember, bright drivers dim, dim drivers
Most of my
newsletters contain downloadable freebies, if you missed out on previous
ones, go to the Archive and
download those you missed.
Just to let
everyone know that I reserve the right to use anything that arrives in my
email inbox either on my website or in my newsletter, unless it clearly
states that I am not allowed to do so.
has increased their ticket prices, more good reason to get your entry to the
UK Lotto or Euro Millions. Just click on the banner to the right and start
dreaming BIG! You can now get tickets for the UK Lotto
Powerball, MegaMilions and Euromillions. some paying up to the equivalent
of R1,830 million . Get a ticket and dream BIG!!! Just click the banner to
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you get a free ticket!
A group in
our church is recycling old Christmas cards and donating the cards to
charity. Some of you will be getting rid of your old cards, could you
please send them on to me? Not the whole card, just the front picture,
please. And any gift tags as well.
Just email me and I will give you my postal address.
Thanks a lot!
here to access hundreds of Christmas recipes from Mrs Claus's kitchen
at the North Pole
Click here for Metric conversions
still free overseas Lotto tickets available. If you have not yet
registered to play you will get a free ticket as a first time
email me, and I will give you the details.
I happened to find this really nice
Blog, please click on the link below and go browse around.....
Following with thanks from Brian at
To tip or
not to tip
So you’ve had a bad experience at the restaurant. The staff couldn’t give
a toss, the salad was tossed at you and the chef was obviously a tosser.
Don’t worry, it happens with amazing regularity, even in Cape Town the
self professed culinary capital of South Africa but what are you going to
do about it? Speak to the manager ? Don’t be silly, he works office hours!
Express your disappointment and inner rage by not leaving a tip – yeah
that will work. Just don’t try it in the land of the free.
A couple who refused to leave a tip after allegedly receiving bad service
in a Pennsylvania restaurant were arrested by police after being accused
of theft. Leslie Pope and John Wagner were handcuffed and hauled away
after they failed to leave a restaurant's mandatory 18 per cent gratuity -
totalling $16 (£10) - for their party of eight. "Nobody wants to be forced
to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," said Miss Pope, 22.
They claimed they had to wait almost an hour for their meal to arrive and
Miss Pope said the service was so shoddy they had to get their own cutlery
and napkins. The group said they had to repeatedly ask for drink refills
while their waitress smoked outside the pub.
The group paid for the meal, but did not leave a tip. Mr Wagner, 24, said
he explained to the manager why he was not leaving a tip.The restaurant
called the police, and Miss Pope and Mr Wagner were led away in handcuffs.
Police said the pair were charged with theft, as the gratuity was part of
the actual bill. They are due to appear in court next month where they
plan to contest the theft charges. So I suggest you break a window
instead, it’s a lesser offence and more fun.
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Mirna is an educational
psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools,
amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan
Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother,
loves art, the ocean and children.
Corinthians 13 for Parents as adapted by Terblanche Jordaan as adapted by
If I should have the most beautiful house in the neighbourhood and drive
the latest 4x4 but my children do know the treasure of my presence then I
am as useless as a credit card with its overdraft pushed to the maximum.
If I had the eloquence to sway a boardroom full of executives and do not
have the patience to listen to my children, I have nothing to be proud of.
If I could deal with difficult clients patiently but do not work at my
relationship with my life partner to set a practical example how to handle
conflict and actively demonstrate love to my children, I am as useless as
a cigarette butt.
If I know how to read the economy and the Stock Exchange; possess all the
knowledge of all the libraries but I do not have the love to teach my
children with patience and consistency, watch their sports games or teach
them to believe to trust God, then my efforts have come to nothing.
If I give 20% of my income to the poor, is on the management of several
welfare organizations, sacrifice my health and my holidays to do
outreaches in Mozambique but I am too tired to read a story with my child
or to play with them on weekends, all my efforts are meaningless.
A parent’s love is patient with a child who is struggling with schoolwork;
a parent’s love is friendly even if their child is not in the first team
or do not want to take piano lessons; they are not resentful to their
children because other children are prettier or cleverer. Neither are they
boastful of their children’s achievements.
A parent’s love do not act wrongfully by being jealous of each other, they
do not only look out for themselves or manipulate others; is not touchy or
distant when their child looks for attention.
A parent who loves her child, do not keep book of old trespasses and keep
reminding her of mistakes and is not happy to remind his child with a:” I
told you so, but you didn’t want to listen!” But they are delighted when
they hear their child speaking truthfully, even if it is to the expense of
Therefore: a parent covers the children’s shame with love; therefore they
remain to believe in their children; they are hopeful for the best outcome
for their children; parents tolerate their children’s taste in music,
clothes and their moaning with kindness. Now we might only see their teen
rebellion but one day when they have grown to adulthood, they will
understand what we were trying to teach them in love just as God is
guiding us lovingly.
Ultimately patience, encouragement and love remain but the most precious
to our children is our unconditional love.
Blessings from heart to heart.
You are welcome to comment or send
questions to her at
When things in your life seem
almost too much to handle, When 24 hours in a day is not enough;
remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with golf
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded
With an unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table
and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions Things that if
everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be
The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else -- The small stuff.
'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued,'there is no room
for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are
important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.
'Take care of the golf balls first -- The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled.
'I'm glad you asked'.
It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'
World Heritage Sites
South Africa has eight World
Heritage Sites, places identified by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to be of "outstanding value
Unesco seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation
of cultural and natural heritage around the world.
This is embodied in an international treaty, the Convention Concerning the
Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the
organisation in 1972.
Four of South Africa's World Heritage Sites are classified as cultural,
three as natural and one as a mixed cultural and natural site.
They include Table Mountain National Park, with more plant species in its
22 000 hectares than the British Isles, and the Drakensberg, which has
both the highest mountain range in Africa south of Kilimanjaro and the
continent's richest concentration of rock art.
iSimangaliso (Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park
Cradle of Humankind
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
Cape Floral Region
Richtersveld Cultural & Botanical Landscape
Year inscribed: 1999, extended
Core zone: 47 000 hectares
Location: Gauteng and North West provinces
Coordinates: 25º 55' 45" S 27º 47' 20" E
Type: Cultural heritage
Unesco reference: 915
Unesco selection criteria:
to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition
or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions,
with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of
outstanding universal significance
The region of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs has one of
the world's richest concentrations of hominid fossils, evidence of human
evolution over the last 3.5-million years. It is known in South Africa as
the Cradle of Humankind.
Found in the provinces of Gauteng and North West, the cradle covers an
area of 47 000 hectares. The remains of ancient forms of animals, plants
and hominids - our early ancestors and their relatives - are captured in a
bed of dolomite deposited 2.5-billion years ago. Although other sites in
south and east Africa have similar remains, the cradle has produced more
than 950 hominid fossil specimens.
Sites in the area supply crucial information about members of one of the
oldest hominids, the australopithecines - two-footed, small-brained
primates that appeared about 5-million years ago.
Excavations and research at the Sterkfontein Caves have so far yielded the
nearly complete skeleton of a 3.3-million-year-old australopithecine, as
well as about 500 specimens of Australopithecus africanus that date from
about 2.8- to 2.6-million years ago.
Other major finds in the area include the most complete skull yet found of
Australopithecus africanus , an outstanding example of a female
Paranthropus - a more robust australopithecine, also known as
Australopithecus robustus - and fossils of an early species of the genus
Homo with stone tools, the first evidence of cultural behaviour.
The Taung Skull Fossil Site, part of the 2005 extension of the World
Heritage Site, is the place where in 1924 the celebrated Taung Skull - a
specimen of the species Australopithecus africanus - was found. Makapan
Valley, also in the site, features in its many archaeological caves traces
of human occupation and evolution dating back some 3.3 million years.
In granting the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage status for its cultural
significance, the World Heritage Committee noted that the sites "throw
light on the earliest ancestors of humankind. They constitute a vast
reserve of scientific information, the potential of which is enormous."
S A Food and Goods all over the World
Click here to see a list of
countries and shops that sell S A goods. If you own a shop overseas that
sells SA stuff or if you know of one,
let me know and I will add it to the page
Come join me on
Facebook, my Facebook email is firstname.lastname@example.org
you ever wanted to know about your birthday,
Africam Fan Page - the best wildlife webcams
Click here, wait for it to load add type in your name
click here and download a recipe eBook with the yummiest dessert
I have been collecting Traditional South African Home Remedies
(Boererate) for a few years now, mainly to
preserve an old tradition. Some are funny but some actually work and have
been used since the 1800's when doctors were not easy to come by and
people had to make do with what they had. I will be
featuring some of the weirder ones in this and future letters:
BRONCHITIS...Take hair from a Chamois...( small
mountain antelope) and put into a iron plate and set alight and allow to
burn. Let the patient lean over the plate and breathe the smoke in deeply.
Give the patient 1 teaspoon of glycerine.
BRONCHITIS…Spread lard onto a piece of flannel and sprinkle well with fine
tobacco. Put the cloth on the patient’s chest and cover with another
BURN WOUNDS…Take goose droppings and apply to the effected areas.
BURN WOUNDS…Take some cattle dung and add some vinegar and mix well. Smear
some of the mixture onto a piece of cloth and apply to the wounds.
It will help to soothe the burning sensation and prevent blisters forming.
CANCER...Cut open the liver of a tortoise and apply it to the cancer area.
CONVULSIONS…Boil 2 buckets of water and add 2 mugs of horse manure to the
water. Allow to cool until luke warm and then strain. Use the water to
bath the baby.
CONVULSIONS…Give the child enough secretion of a rock-rabbit to cover the
tip of a knife. Give 3 times per day. Rock-rabbit secretion is obtainable
CORNS…Kill a snake and while it is still warm…pull it over the corns a
couple of times. The corn will then heal and disappear.
CRAMPS…For cramps in your legs…When you go to bed at night just arrange
your shoes so that they form a T.
CROUP…Dry goat’s skin and put away safely. When your child has croup…
slice a small piece of the skin off and mix with 1 tablespoon of lukewarm
water and a little sugar. Stir until the water becomes greenish and then
give it to the child to drink. The child will vomit and bring out the
phlegm and then the child will immediately feel better.
The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.
Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw
prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and
contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food
does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find
that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me
to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall
faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about
this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your
comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they
sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched
out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails
straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize
space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some
miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not
necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under
the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door
I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline
attendance is not required.
The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other
dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.
Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on
the front door:
TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:
(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who
are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.
Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes,
(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college
One Ticket is All It Takes
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the UK Lotto? Minimum jackpot is Three million pounds (R45 million!) Now you can play the
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Give it a try and have some Lotto fun!
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Did you know that if you register for the first time,
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Never buy another recipe book again!
My Recipe CD has now been updated and now includes 55 Recipe eBooks
as well as 8 Bonus eBooks (4 eBooks on making, marketing and selling
crafts for profit)
to take a look. (that works out to about R2 per recipe book! sheessshhh!)
Just to let you know that I received my recipe CD today in the mail and
I'm over the moon about it. I'm going to spread the word to others to order copies
too. It's most certainly worth every cent..........
Glenacres Superspar Recipe
Glenacres Superspar sends out a
really nice newsletter full of super recipes. To subscribe,
click here and send the
Orange-Glazed Chicken with Couscous
finely shredded zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 Tbsp honey
4 boneless chicken breast with skin on
300g instant couscous
375g heated chicken stock
1. Mix the orange juice and honey in a large bowl
2. Use a sharp knife to score the chicken skin, making diagonal cuts to
form a diamond pattern - don't cut into the flesh
3. Coat the chicken with the orange mixture - cover in cling wrap and
refrigerate for 1 hour
4. Put the couscous in a bowl, add chicken stock and orange zest - cover
with plastic wrap and stand for 10 minutes until the liquid is completely
5. Fluff up the couscous with a fork
6. Place a grill pan over a med-high heat and grill chicken for 5 minutes
on each side, until cooked through
7. Rest in a warm place for 5 minutes, slice chicken and serve on a bed of
Crested Barbet / Trachyphonus vaillantii
Photo by Anna Eksteen
Click the image to see an enlargement
We were very fortunate to see many of these colourful and amusing
birds during our recent holiday in the Kruger National Park. If you
thought that little baboons and monkeys were funny, you can definitely
add these "clowns" to your list. Of these Crested Barbets 99% of those
we saw treated us to a show to remember for days to come. The funny
faces these guys made and antics they came up with was so laughable
and such a pleasure to look at. At some stages it looked as if they
had something stuck in their throat or if they where busy choking.
Other times they would stretch their necks and it looked so weird, but
the moments I enjoyed the most was when they where basking in the sun.
I saw this specific little fellow enjoying the sun at the back of the
bungalow at Satara. It is the wall of the bungalow you see in the
background. It enjoyed the heat so much that it started to tilt over
more and more until its head nearly touched the ground.
Find your way around South Africa
With this really informative map, just click here:
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.
to my Afrikaans newsletter .
Afrikaans website. Recipes and freebie with each newsletter.
Men strike back!
How many men does it take to open a beer?
None. It should be opened when she brings it.
Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman? Because a woman
who can't even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to
Why do women have smaller feet than men?
It's one of those 'evolutionary things' that allows them to stand closer
to the kitchen
How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart? When she
a sentence with 'A man once told me.....
How do you fix a woman's watch?
You don't. There is a clock on the oven.
If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the
who do you let in first?
The dog, of course. He'll shut up once you let him in.
Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman's sex drive by
It's called a Wedding Cake.
Why do men die before their wives?
They want to.
Women will never be equal to men
Until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and
think they are sexy..
The Smiths were unable to conceive children
and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day
the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and
said, 'Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon.'
Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer
happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale.
'Good morning, Ma'am', he said, 'I've come to...'
'Oh, no need to explain,' Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, 'I've been
'Have you really?' said the photographer. 'Well, that's good.. Did you
know babies are my specialty?'
'Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a
After a moment she asked, blushing, 'Well, where do we start?'
'Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the
couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room
floor is fun.. You can really spread out there.'
'Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for Harry and
'Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we
try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm
sure you'll be pleased with the results.'
'My, that's a lot!', gasped Mrs. Smith.
'Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be In
and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that.'
'Don't I know it,' said Mrs. Smith quietly.
The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his
baby pictures. 'This was done on the top of a bus,' he said.
'Oh, my God!' Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.
'And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their
mother was so difficult to work with.'
'She was difficult?' asked Mrs. Smith.
'Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job
done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good
'Four and five deep?' said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.
'Yes', the photographer replied. 'And for more than three hours, too. The
mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate,
and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the
squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had to pack it all in.'
Mrs. Smith leaned forward. 'Do you mean they actually chewed on your,
'It's true, Ma'am, yes.. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my tripod and
we can get to work right away.'
'Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too
big to be held in the hand very long..'
Mrs. Smith fainted
How to Measure Butter
Have you tried to measure exactly 1 cup of butter (or tablespoon
for that matter)?
Spend forever to squeeze the butter in the cup, making sure there are
just to spend more time with a spatula trying to get every little bit
of butter out of the cup again?
Q: Is 1/2 lb. of butter the same as 1/2 cup of butter? ( Or margarine
or baking margarine like Stork bake or Marvello)
A: The recipe writers of the world have entered into a conspiracy to
make cooking with butter way more complex than it should be.
In one recipe they ask for a half-cup of butter. In the next, they ask
for 8 tablespoons.
Then they turn around and demand one stick of butter.
And the whole time, they're asking for the same thing!
In the US, butter is mostly packaged in 1-pound boxes, with four
individually wrapped quarters or sticks.
In South Africa, butter is packed 250g or 500g.
Sometimes you get a smaller brick.
Or at Woolworth's you can get a Stick of Butter.
The margarines are packed in 250g, 500g or 1kg.
Each pound (S.A. 500g) is two cups of butter.
Each quarter-pound stick is 8 tablespoons or a half a cup. Each
tablespoon is 1/2 ounce.
To thwart the wicked aims of those recipe writers once and for all,
here to download the following fool-proof Butter Measurement
Translation Chart to Defeat Nefarious Recipe Writers
Thanks to ePosvriende -
Some great resorts we have visited
We have just returned from a week at Ekuthuleni,
click here for my report and
You can also see some more photos
Since Ekuthuleni we have also been to Hazyview Cabanas, for my write-up
and pictures click here
We are just back from a really nice trip to Mozambique -
Morrumbene Beach Resort
We have just returned from a glorious week at
Mnarani Club, Kilifi, Kenya
We also had a really nice stay at
Hole in the Wall
and Caribbean Estates
Basil is one of the most versatile herbs in our garden
It's name derives from Basilisk, a serpent-like creature whose venom was
The herb was said to be an antidote to the venom
Basil likes sun, but grows better in semi-shade, and doesn't like frost
It can be grown in a pot and reaches between 30 and 60 cm.
Basil attracts butterflies to the garden, and planted between your rows of
vegetables, keeps the insects away
Used in potpourris and floral arrangements, it gives the room a spicy scent
Fresh basil in the kitchen, keeps flies away
Basil is said to stimulate hair growth
Drawing out poison from insect bites and stings
As a tonic for the relief of nausea and indigestion
Rub onto the temples for relief from a headache
Make into a fusion and gargle as a mouthwash
Finely chopped basil enhances all vegetable dishes
Chopped basil and olive oil may be used as a salad dressing
It is very good with all tomato dishes
May be added to an Italian Pesto Sauce
Pound 4 cups of basil leaves with 2-3 cloves of garlic in a large pestle
Add a little salt, 4 Tsp of walnuts or Pine Nuts, 4 Tsp parmesan cheese and
Slowly add 5-6 Tsp of olive oil
The FunkyMunky Herb eBook is now available. 48 popular herbs,
descriptions and uses with photos. Immediately available, will be emailed
to you. Only R50 ,
send me an email for payment details.
I'm very impressed with what I've read so far. What I really like
is that your book is a combination of medicinal and culinary advice,
unlike many other herb books I've read.
And the format is great - thanks very much. I have an ambitious
project to make a herb garden this year - so your section of herb gardens
will come in very handy - Shelagh
For the latest on happenings in Zimbabwe, go to:
http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/ and subscribe
to their newsletter, a really good source of current information
Cathy Buckle has started writing again from Zimbabwe, her letter
Here is Cathy's letter:
Dear Family and Friends,
The one non-political word most likely to cause animated, angry
outbursts in Zimbabwe is 'Zesa.' Officially the acronym stands for
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, more appropriately it is
known as Zimbabwe Electricity Sometimes Available.
We've now had three grim, gruelling weeks of power cuts where the
lights go out at 4 or 5 in the morning and stay off until 9 or 10
at night - every day of the week and weekend. Normal functioning
has become almost impossible. Food bought with precious US dollars
is going rotten in silent fridges; geysers are cold and there is
no way to put a single hot meal on the table as zesa is non
existent at breakfast, lunch and supper times.
Only receiving a few hours of power in the middle of the night we
expected our bills would have reduced by three quarters but this
isn't happening. Business and residential areas alike, Zesa bills
continue to be more than most people earn in a month. Unexplained
and incomprehensible is how you go from having a credit balance
one month to owing 700 or 800 US dollars the next. Small
businesses already struggling to stay open are getting bills
ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 US dollars a month. It's become
commonplace to get home and find you've been disconnected or, in
my home town, to find that Zesa employees have actually physically
removed MCB's (Mains Control Boards) from your house.
The worst comes when you emerge from a 16 hour power cut, cold,
tried and hungry. The lights flicker once, twice and then stay off
again - it's a fault on the line. Even though Zesa have a 24 hour
fault service, they say they no longer attend at night, or before
8am in the morning, and so you wait. By the time they go looking
for a fault (after you have picked them up in your car and driven
them round and round) and they have effected the repair, you still
don't get anything done as you are back into the standard 16 hour
power cut. If there is more than one fault on the line then you
can go on like this for days, staggering from power cuts to faults
with the briefest flicker of lights in between but not even enough
time to boil a kettle.
In out of town areas, people are going without electricity for
multiple days, even weeks. One rural friend said they'd had no
power for over a week. The only commercial farmer still operating
in the area had recently been evicted by an army man and now there
was no one with a vehicle prepared to travel the 20 kilometers to
town to collect Zesa workers to fix the broken line.
Sitting here writing this letter by hand I try and remember the
last time I saw Zesa doing any maintenance in my suburb. I decide
it must be about 5 years ago when they came door to door and cut
branches, cleared around poles and checked their lines. I fume at
this thought and also at the information that a junior Zesa worker
in his early twenties and without tertiary education is currently
earning 800 US dollars a month - nearly seven times more than a
degreed teacher or nurse. Perhaps that's why our bills are so
Until next week, thanks for reading,
Copyright cathy buckle 21 November 2009.
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