Coffee With A Looming Cyclone

If you were having coffee with me  would be happy you had a moment to visit, it’s the season to be jolly, despite the challenges this year has put us through, yet here we are still. I will not be sleeping on New Year’s eve into the New Year not because I want to see the dawn of a New Year, but to make sure 2020 has really left.

Beaton Blogger

Its that time of the year after Christmas but before the New Year when all the days just sort of blur and you have to constantly remind yourself what day it is and sometimes it doesn’t even matter… Maybe there’s something in the Coffee ^_^

If you were having coffee with me I would ask how your Christmas went. Mine eventually turned out ok and for that I give thanks and for a little while everything was perfect… you can check out my Christmas Day write up on The Year We Almost Cancelled Christmas

Some people never made it in time for Christmas such people who were trapped at the Beitbridge Border Post between South Africa and Zimbabwe, a very busy gateway between not just South Africa and Zimbabwe but also Africa. Travellers were stuck in an over 15km blockade due to the painstaking bureaucracy in safeguarding against COVID with the border closing at 10pm each day.

congestion aat Beitbridge border post

Ironically in trying to curb the corona virus, authorities created super spreader conditions. The situation also devolved into a humanitarian crisis as the travellers had no access to water, ablution facilities and even food not mention being stuck in the sweltering heat. 15 people are reported to have died in the past week waiting to cross the border.

The two governments have been throwing responsibilities at each other with a South African minister going as far as telling the Zimbabwean government to fix their economy so that Zimbabweans wouldn’t have to migrate to South Africa. According to media reports the Beitbridge Border Post has streamlined the customs clearing process cutting down some of the requirements for truckers and the backlogged traffic has been cleared.

Beitbridge Border Post

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that last week I first came into news of a low pressure system in the Indian ocean that had potential to develop into a cyclone. The tropical storm which resulted reached critical windspeeds for it to be classified as Tropical Cyclone Chalane.

tropical depresion Chalane

Cyclone Chalane made landfall in Madagascar downgrading to a tropical depression but is predicated to gain momentum as it crosses the Mozambican Channel following the path taken by Cyclone Idai almost year ago although forecasted to have windspeeds at about half the strength of Cyclone Idai.

Chalane tracker
Chalane tracker on Cyclocane

I worry about how our disaster management protocol seems to be more of a wait and see approach than actively preparing for an event, although news reports seem to suggest that the government is on high alert (they said the same thing about covid) I cant say I have seen anything that shows they are on top of the situation except the president praying.

President of Zimbabwe praying

Imagine if Noah after being told a flood was coming and instead of building an ark knelt to pray… At least we have a prayerful president, so he cant be as bad as the big bad west says he is right?

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you I was reading The 2020 Festivus Report on the US Government’s wastage after I saw a tweet from US Senator Rand Paul citing how the US Government committed 10 million dollars and five years in improving Zimbabwe’s political process.

Festivus Report US spending 10 million to improve Zimbabwe's political  process
Festivus Report 2020

Well a part of me is like well the way our political space is so polarised we should take all the help we can get but then another part of me is like who made USA: The Guardian of the world’s democracy I mean isn’t that why we have the UN, EU AU and SADCC; never mind the antics president Trump which werent exactly exemplary behaviour from a president.

Also how exactly would they intend to Improve our political process…  or is it more like interfere through financing civic pressure groups as the government is always quick to point out whenever there are protests and riots that 3rd forces and misguided elements are furthering imperialistic agendas of foreign governments?

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you it was a circus watching a branch of a Zimbabwean opposition party conduct its extra-ordinary congress to elect its president and the then current president ordered the ballot be stopped and tried to suspend the winning candidate on grounds of rigging and corruption, who in turn refused to be suspended citing that a candidate cant suspend another candidate during electoral process…

ballot piles for MDC T president
The final four piles of ballots no need to even count

If this any indication of the nature of politics then looks like we are doomed to be trapped in a circle of politicians looking out for number one yet claiming to have interests of the people at heart. A quick look at the recent situations; in Uganda on coverage of Bobi Wine’s rallies subjected to state crackdown of journalists and in Zambia which had state security using lethal force break up an opposition gathering.

Its a crazy world out there, whats been happening in your neck of the woods?

~B

14 Comments

  1. The line at the border is ridiculous. I wonder why people do this to themselves. Are they pushed to their limits or do they just like to travel? On Christmas Eve, I was driving near a grocery store… OMG there was crazy traffic in and out. Why do people wait until the very last moment to do their shopping? Is it really a matter of poor planning? I understand that sh!t happens and you forget something (or more people decide to come over, but not in covid-19 times, surely), but that cannot be the answer to ALL these people who go to buy groceries the day before Christmas and gifts on the weekend and days before Christmas.

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    1. The line was ridiculous… Sometimes people bring it on themselves, if hindsight were like common sense life would soooo much smoother.

      As for leaving things till the last minute, try telling that to a student who pulls an all nighter the day before exams when you have had a year to prepare then growing into an adult who only does things at the eleventh hour….
      And now here we are a generation of last minute visits living people *sigh*
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm… I like your comparison. I used to be that student, but somehow, as an adult, I take care of the shopping before the last minute. I think me not liking crowds has something to do with it.

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    1. The greenery is from all the rain (I wonder if the impending cyclone had something to do with it but November, December through to March have always been the rainy season)
      The world looks green when it’s raining 🥰
      Thanks for visiting
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear! Stay safe out there with a cyclone coming! It’s headed straight for you it seems from the map!! And that traffic is awful, but it looks like they made it faster to get thru there but sad there were deaths. Enjoy this last week of 2020! Something tells me it may take some months before 2021 will feel better than 2020! Cheers to the New Year! ❤️🥂🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been rainy past couple of days guess it was a precursor to the cyclone and right now it’s something a bit calm, dry and hot…. calm before the storm

      Looking at all these things converging… Looks like 2021 might not be as smooth sailing as we wish 2020 was like a boot camp prepping us for what’s to come🤣

      But still, cheers to the New Year 🎉🎊🎆
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So sad and disturbing how long people spent at the border post. It’s a bottleneck of people and cargo – knowing that I wonder why it hasn’t been widened, given that it’s an important transit point in Southern Africa.
    I’ve been following the progression of the cyclone with concern remembering the devastation Idai wrought in Moz and Zim.
    As always, it was enjoyable having coffee with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even before the pandemic that border post has always been problematic during holiday season you would think by now they had figured it needs widening.

      I saw on the news that they have started evacuating people in flood prone areas in the Eastern part of the country, with the cyclone about 24 hours away feels like that’s cutting it very close when for over a week we have known about the cyclone.. I haven’t seen any messages on emergency response numbers to call in case of disaster.

      One would think after Cyclone Idai it would have been a wake up call to have emergency protocol in place, from previous experience I know once it starts raining heavily there’s going to be power and network outages and communication problems so people need to know what to do beforehand..

      Anyway maybe we are just panicking and it will be a mild stormy by the time it reaches Zimbabwe with Moz bearing the brunt of it

      Thanks for visiting
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “If this any indication of the nature of politics then looks like we are doomed to be trapped in a circle of politicians looking out for number one yet claiming to have interests of the people at heart.” Both sides of the political spectrum in America since the dawn of America. 400 plus years nothing changes. Trump was a terrible president but everyone else in office is equally as awful.

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  5. It is a crazy world out there, or right here? Your posts are always an interesting read. What a horrible situation along that border! We are currently strongly recommended to not travel at all (in Sweden,) but to stay home and only celebrate with the close family we live with. I still haven’t seen my favourite little sister since I got back from the US. She lives about 6 hours from me, and the recommendations are to not travel that far. I have train tickets to go and see her next week, but I am going to follow the recommendations. I’ve been working on my new home, trying to create as much magic as I can for my children. Yesterday I had food delivered that should last us for a long time, just because it’s safer than visiting the store myself. I wish you a safe, and Happy New Year in the midst of all this turmoil. Keep writing, you are good at it, and an inspiration to us all.

    Maria

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