ARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt”>Dear Family and Friends,
This letter is being sent out three days later than normal because I am now entering the 92nd hour with only enough electricity for lights in my home. At midday on Friday the voltage to my home crashed and the power is insufficient to heat the water geyser, run a fridge or stove or even boil a kettle.
25 telephone calls to the electricity supplier in the last four days, a personal visit to the faults office, a number of offers to provide fuel or go and collect electricians are all to no avail. In the villages less than 15 kilometres from here there is also no electricity, which means the grinding mills are not working. I was told by a friend that there are scores of people now going without food and that the atmosphere is extremely tense.
This morning there is literally mud coming out of the taps in my home, which means there are problems pumping water too.
Standing at the entrance gates of a wholesaler there was a thin, gaunt, tired looking man. On the ground next to him was a small pile of empty cement bags. He bent and picked up a bag and held it towards me, asking me to buy it. An empty cement bag, turned inside out and with two crude holes cut into the top for handles.
“Only thirty thousand dollars” the man said to me. This was literally just an empty cement bag, it hadn’t been sewn, reinforced or even cleaned very well. I could think of no earthly reason why I would want an empty cement bag but the look in the mans eyes, the slight trembling of his hand and the thinness of his body gave me a whole lot of reasons.
I gave the man forty thousand dollars and told him to keep the change. I took my cement bag and the man called out “God bless you, thank you,” as I walked away. We both knew that the money I’d just handed over would the man just half a loaf of bread but to me, and
obviously to him, selling cement bags enables a slither of dignity to be maintained.
Please keep the people of
very hard times and thank you for reading. Ndini shamwari yenyu.Post published in: Uncategorized