Power outage due to Cyclone Eloise…We’re figuring it out…

Please note: Due to a power outage and poor WiFi signal, we cannot upload photos until power and WiFi are restored.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, it was highly likely that power would be out today, and it is. It went out early this morning when I was awakened by the temperature, climbing in the bedroom without the air-con running. Louise sent a message this morning to inform us it wasn’t “load shedding” but a power outage due to last night’s rains, and Eskom has yet to come out to work on it.

Why the power goes out from the rain when there’s little wind baffles me. But with the poor infrastructure here, anything seems to be instrumental in the power going off, often for hours, if not for days at a time, under certain mysterious conditions. There’s no point in attempting to analyze the reasons. It is what it is.

Right now, I am using my phone as a hotspot, utilizing Google Fi data service. We only use it for short bursts such as circumstances, such as today when the power and tower aren’t working for the house’s WiFi. It’s pricey, and only warrants use during these situations. Thus, the number of photos in today’s post will be limited.

At least now, we have the inverter to help us for a while, but that runs on batteries, and if power isn’t restored soon enough, that will stop working. For now, we can charge our laptops and phones, but the WiFi isn’t working. That’s most likely due to the system at the tower being down due to the power outage.

At the moment, as I’d done last weekend during load shedding, I am writing the text for today’s post using the offline app, “text,” which I can save to upload later on when the power is restored and then add the photos I’d planned for today. Cyclone Eloise is beginning to impact South Africa, but we cannot see how seriously without a connection.

Instead, we can continue to sit at the big table on the veranda and do it the “old-fashioned” way, watching the weather before our eyes. Right now, it rains intermittently, with occasional big gusts of wind rustling through the trees. The only visitors we’ve had this morning have been a half dozen helmeted guinea-fowl who came and “peck, peck, pecked” the seeds we’ve been tossing out for (francolin) Frank, his family and friends, and our nesting pair of hornbills who’ve taken over the bushbaby house in a tree at the edge of the veranda.

During past stays in Marloth Park, we’d noticed we didn’t get many visitors during rainstorms. I genuinely believe many animals seek shelter when the rain, wind, thunder, and lightning frighten them. Oops, I spoke too soon. I just looked up to find Frank, The Misses, and The Chicks have stopped by for some seeds. We tossed out several handfuls of seeds, and they are making happy little chirps as they peck at the seeds. It’s quite endearing.

Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, this inconvenience causes us little concern compared to our experience of the past ten months. We are outdoors, don’t feel confined, and have nature at our disposal when the timing is right. Fortunately, we don’t have much food on hand to spoil in the refrigerator and freezer.

We’d hope to head out to shop tomorrow in Komatipoort, but until the threat of Eloise is over, it makes no sense to fill the fridge with food that could ultimately spoil. Tonight for dinner, we’ll make bacon and cheesy scrambled eggs on the grill, which has a side burner since we are all out of meat, other than frozen chicken wings, which may spoil if the power doesn’t return by this evening.

Some may say, “Why didn’t we go to a well-established tropical island renting a beachfront property and be able to relax in comfort?” We understand this mentality, and for many, that would be an ideal scenario. But, for us, “rough and tumble” types, we feel right at home with some inconveniences when the tradeoffs are well worth the occasional trouble.

We’d love to go to Kruger National Park soon, but all the facilities are closed due to Covid-19 and now, this storm. There would be nowhere to stop for a bathroom break. We’re hoping soon enough, activity in Kruger will be restored, and we’ll purchase an annual pass and visit as often as we’d like.

There’s not much on the agenda today in light of these current developments. However, when and if the weather improves, we may see our wildlife friends in abundance.

Have a safe and healthy day!

Photo from one year ago today, January 24, 2020:

Almost ready to leave Arizona, while visiting some of Tom’s siblings,  here are his four sisters (two weren’t able to travel to Arizona). From left to right (back row); Colleen, Tom, Mary Ellen with Rita, and Margie (front row). For the story one year ago, please click here.

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