Marloth Park is practically a disaster area right now. Some residents have been without power for four or five days. Many others have no phone service, TV service, and WiFi, especially if they have Vodacom (we do not). Tom, who usually takes a shower at 3:00 pm, 1500 hrs, each day, is taking one now at 10:00 am before our water runs out, as it has for many others in the park.
The electricity that services the pumps that run the water system is out, impacting everyone in the park. We can only imagine the frustration for those residents who’ve been without power for four or five days. Indeed, they’ve lost all their perishable food in the fridges and freezers by now.
For those of us who still have electricity, load shedding is at Stage 4, which translates to 7½ hours per day without power, spread over three 2½ hour sessions. That’s nothing compared to those who haven’t had power since last Wednesday. Plus, being unable to be online or make a phone call is a terrible hardship for those residents.
Sure, an unsympathetic type could say, “If this was the mid-1800s and earlier, people had none of these services for the majority of their lives. They managed,” But, that isn’t comforting at all. Our lives are adapted to modern technology, and we shouldn’t have to be without that which has become an integral part of our lives in this day and age.
Imagine the frustration for those who continue to pay for the services and yet have none whatsoever. They’ll play hell trying to get credits for the periods they’ve been without the services. After all, TIA, “This is Africa,” and such infrastructure failures are expected as the norm.
And yet, for now, we choose to be here. No, we’ll never buy a house here, nor would we live here full-time if we decided to stop traveling and settle somewhere. Both of us agree to this without hesitation.
Our holiday house uses a different WiFi company, Tech Connect, and we’ve had no issues recently. We have Google Fi on our phones and can easily make calls if necessary and access data. But, Google Fi shares towers with many of those that aren’t operational at times, and we may not have services.WiFi is out mainly because of the ongoing theft of the batteries at the stations that run services from the towers. Thieves come to the park in the middle of the night and steal the batteries.
Vodacom is sick and tired of replacing stolen batteries for its towers. They need to come up with another plan for those who are impacted. How about an impenetrable storage system for the batteries? It’s not rocket science. But again, TIA and things don’t get resolved like they do in many other parts of the world.
One might say, “Move away if you don’t like it.” But, in this and many other African countries, people can’t afford to leave when the cost of living is lower here than in many other parts of the world. Permanent residents, including retirees in Marloth Park, have no chance of moving away. With load shedding issues throughout the country, they’d have to move to another country that is not affordable or sensible for most.
For tourists, such as our friends, Rina and Cee, meeting today for sundowners and dinner at Amazing Kruger View. It is challenging. One spends money to come here for a holiday, enjoy the wildlife and end up without water, power, WiFi, and phone service. Such occurrences can easily impact tourists’ future decisions to come to Marloth Park. A lack of tourists affects property owners who need holiday rental income to cover their living costs. It’s a vicious cycle.
We accept the reality of the situation and must continue to do so for the next 74 days until we depart for Florida, US, where we’ll be spending 75 days, until our cruise sails across the Atlantic Ocean from Fort Lauderdale Southampton, England. No, we don’t wish time to fly by quickly. We are savoring every moment.
While we’re sitting on the veranda on a cooler, cloudy day, Froggie, who lives in the rafters above our heads, is entertaining us with his frequent croaks. Lori and Barbara (from Shark Tank) are sitting in the bush with an eye on us, waiting for the next visitor to our garden to whom we’ll toss some pellets. They’ll move in, scare them away with their bossy personalities and take over the eating of the pellets.
Our power just went out due to load shedding, but we’ll be fine during the 2½ hours. We’ll still have WiFi due to our inverter. Thanks to Louise and Danie for providing the valuable device for us during our year-long stay. Gordon Ramsey (bushbuck) just showed up for some pellets and cabbage. I’d better run and get his lunch!
Have a good day!
Photo from one year ago today, November 9, 2020:
|This photo was posted one year ago in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #231. Tom checked in at the reception desk at the dental office in Savusavu, Fiji, while we waited outside with no indoor seating areas. The dental office was located on the hospital grounds. For more, please click here.|