Of Coffee With Splashdown

If you were having coffee with me, I would be happy you could visit, its crazy how we can look up and see the same sky and the same sun and the same moon. I rather love the moon, I think I was born on a moonlit night, and if you look up tomorrow and see the full moon know that I will be here looking at that very same full moon.

Moon howling
The Fullmoon Poet

Speaking of looking up, I wish I could see the de-orbit splashdown of Crew Dragon from my neck of the woods as two astronauts return from a 63 day stay at the International Space Station. Their craft has since decoupled successfully from the ISS and after a 19 hour flight will splashdown will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida

spaceX

This is one of the most dangerous legs of the space return journey. It starts as a high-speed descent, and re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere will result in heating of up 2,000C on its shielded underside then two sets of parachutes will autodeploy at 5500m then two more at 1800m altitude slowing the vehicle down to a gently splash in the ocean.

Splashdown sequence

This is the first crewed lockdown in 45 years after Apollo 15 command module “Endeavour” in the Pacific Ocean on August 7, 1971.

File:Apollo 15 splashdown.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Apollo 15 Splashdown

If you are having coffee with me depending what day and time you read this, perhaps the crew will have successfully landed; weather permitting as there’s a storm brewing in the Pacific ocean. The crew have food ration to last several days of orbit until the next opportune moment for splashdown.

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You can tell I devoted time into looking up this splashdown and will drop a link to where you can catch the live NASA feed of the splashdown, well, I have been fascinated with Heavens-Above; it’s a lot more calming than focussing on the world around. I was thinking also how these guys who have been in space since May will find how life has changed since they have been gone, the new normals. How in-touch were they with what’s been happening in the world as they flew over us over and over again

We definitely need to be better crewmates on this blue marble spinning round and round going round the sun.

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If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that from up above to six feet below we move to a high profile funeral, the late retired Air Marshall Perence Shiri who was declared a national hero and buried at the Hero’s acre (following strict WHO guidelines as he died from COVID-19 the president confirmed it so we will not talk about the rumours of poisoning)

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I am trying hard not to comment on how some medical workers said they have never had access to this type of PPE and are currently on a general strike and how the situation at our public hospitals is a mess. My heart beats for the tiny heart beats that have never gotten a chance to live.

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green cloths are covering dead bodies of new born Harare Hospital

Meanwhile the government officials attend the funeral of the late retired Air Marshal in vehicles whose budget could rehabilitate the health sector if not the economy and whole country, or at the very least fix up the roads…

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If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I recently found out that the late Air Marshal used to be known as Black Jesus commanding the infamous 5th Brigade and so carried some responsibility for the state-sponsored atrocities that happened in the 1980s known as Gukurahundi. It’s a subject that is never quite talked about and while some people were offering condolence messages others were unapologetic and angry that the air marshal had died without facing justice. Our culture says we must not speak ill of the dead but sometimes…

Perence Shiri aka Black Jesus fictionalized in House of Stone
@NovuyoRTshuma

Novuyo Tshuma is the author of a book House Of Stone and during the weekend The Harare Book Club had a meet the author sessions with her which she opened by reading a section in the book where a character finds out he is the child of Black Jesus. One of the things that came out during this book club meeting was how when truth and history become a weaponised commodity it gets difficult to get the real picture of what really transpires. Our history has mostly been oral and we need people taking ownership of their stories.

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you where does one goes for the truth? If you have been following our news then you may have heard that there had been planned protest for 31st of July. Depending whom you ask, the protest was a flop as very few participated because they had heeded the call for COVID lockdown restrictions or maybe because the security forces literally shut down the city; anyone who so much as displayed a placard was arrested. Others will say that one aspect of the protest was to show how heavy-handed the state machinery is in cowing its citizens into submission.

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If people break the law then they should be dealt with within the confines of the law but the stories of people being abducted in the night, torture and threats and it almost seems as if no one asks after you and keeps the spotlight on you, you just might never be heard fromever again. Your crime being simply to exercise your rights.  

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you a new month and new week is beginning but its difficult to plan out anything, don’t even know if they will start allowing people to get into town or what documents they will require for you to pass a roadblock into the CBD, on Thursday I heard that the officers were telling people that the person who reads the documents was not there and everyone to return to their homes. Lawyers launched an application to challenge the constitutionality of these travel document requirements but not sure what the final outcome of that is…

If you were having coffee with me, would tell you that on the upside, the Power Authority says that water levels at the Kariba Dam Hydroelectric Power station are sufficiently raised that they anticipate they can generate uninterrupted power supply till the end of the year, so at least we don’t have to worry about electricity cuts…

We are all crewmates headed for a splashdown and I hope we can make the landing a gentle one.

~B

26 Comments

  1. Such difficult times. I wish I could steer you towards the truth but we are having a hard time finding it in this country too. One truth I know is that we buried a true hero here recently, a man named John Lewis. You might have heard of him. He understood the importance of truth and his death, while tragic did open up some conversations that might not otherwise have been.
    As for the excitement of the astronauts returning, I will admit, my first thought when I read about it in the paper this morning was “If they had the choice, would they rather stay floating in space than come back to this?” In seriousness, though, I hope they have a safe and easy landing. I am in total awe of individuals who are brave enough to to venture off the planet. I was lucky enough to witness the launch of one of our space shuttles from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 1985. What an amazing event! So loud and the Earth literally shook!!
    Be well, my friend. Sending prayers your way for a safe week and hopefully positive news.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. and we have splashdown!!!!!
      You are right Nancy, I think staying up there would be a lot better than being here with all this…
      Looks like the landing was safe and uneventful which is a good thing, I saw footage of the last splashdown from 45 years ago and one of the parachutes failed it was hairy.
      I want to go to space too and with this success we are closer to having space travel becoming a common thing.

      Oh wow you got to witness a launch its not something one sees everyday hahahaha

      Thanks for the visit Nancy
      ~B

      PS I read Obama’s eulogy speech for the John Lewis I get the updates from the Obamas mailed to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad the splashdown was a success!! I heard they were done up there and I saw the take off but missed their return. I’ll have to watch it tomorrow. Although I absolutely LOVE all things space (Star Wars, my all-time favorite movies. Star Trek, a close second. Even the Alien movies – scared the bejesus out of me, but so good!) I would never really want to be up in space! I’d miss my horses to much! Lol 🤠🐴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watched the splashdown… Courtesy of the internet 😂 I want to go to space… Its the ultimate frontier, to boldly go where not many people have gone before

      Wait, what if you could take horses to space 😂😂😂 I mean you have sea horses right.. What about space horses?

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! I was thinking space horses too! But, well, they eat a lot, drink a lot, poop a lot… Like running around a lot. It would have to be a HUGE giant space ship for their accommodations! 🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, and I love the moon too! I think I wrote about that once as it somehow brings us all a little closer as I sit and think I’m looking at it and my family states away are too! And friends near and far!! The moon is cool! 💖

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the heads up about the full moon. Every month a friend and I have a habit of sitting outside, gaze at the moon as it rise and have our WA voice note conversations. It covers the distance and bring us closer… Cheezy 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always thought Garwe was the black jesus. Lord, The atrocities our nation has seen. Pray for those who have not found closure, those that have not found their loved one too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This nation has been through so much and hasn’t had time for closure, some of the tribalism can be traced back to that period even though now there’s just a simmering disconnect and no one fully knows why….
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It was very exciting to follow the mission and splashdown. Lots of things could have gone wrong and I think there was a global sigh of relief when they returned. Have a great week.

    Like

  6. I like the photo of you by the moon.
    I like the sentiment of different people looking at the same moon.
    However, about a week ago, I was on a bit of a road trip. In city A the moon was white and small. 2 hours later, in city B, the moon was HUGE and cheese yellow. I found that very interesting.
    Why are the babies dying? Is it because the hospital workers are on strike?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one of my favourite images!!!!
      Hmm interesting thing about the moon, could it be that had you waited 2 hours in city A it would have orbited to a position where it would be a different shade and size… Also what’s the distance between city A and city B (am not trying to calculate how fast you were going though) 😂😂😂
      The hospitals are short staffed and part of the reason is the strike and part of it is that a large percentage of confirmed Covid cases are the health workers, and then then there’s inadequate hospital supplies even if the doctors and nurses weren’t on strike they say there’s not much they could do except watch people die, maybe give them pain medication if they are lucky… The infant mortality rate is shockingly high on that particular night 1 out of 8 expecting mothers had a successful delivery midwifery is being handled like we have gone back to the dark ages one of the doctors said the deaths could have been prevented given a more efficient health system….
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The distance between city A and B is about 200km. City A was to the NE of city B.
        City B is much bigger than city A and some say pollution has some sort of effect on the color.

        That’s absolutely horrifying.

        Like

  7. I do wonder if Covid could survive in space. Perhaps this is something our elected leadership or the media who is erasing the line between news and propaganda could go up and test for us, just outside of their luxury capsules.
    You must admit. There is a good idea in this somewhere.

    Like

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