African miracles

cover image for African miracles

I’m going to Cape Town next week to work on a project coordinated by the City of Tampere. The trip will be a welcome diversion from the current -22°C weather here in Finland.

The last time I was in Africa we witnessed a real miracle, or at least a very uncommon situation:

We had been climbing to the Thabana Ntlenyana mountain and were driving with Rudi’s 4x4 in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. The day was very sunny and hot in the South African summer, and we were very thirsty. The trunk was filled with beer, but all of it was hot enough to be undrinkable.

We had stopped in every village and gas station to try and buy ice, but it was not available anywhere. Finally, beaten, we stopped at the Katse Dam to take some pictures. And then it happened: the sky turned dark, and a very strong hailstorm started. The hail was the size of golf balls, and as we were driving the shepherds on the side of the roads were donning construction-style helmets.

But still, the hail melted almost as quickly as it hit the ground, and so we continued with our trunk of warm beer. Driving around another bend, we suddenly saw a pile of hail balls lying in the middle of a clearing. There was no reasonable explanation how it had ended there, as there were no cliffs nearby, and all other hail on the ground had melted. But there it was, and soon our cooler was operational:

Andrea shows the pile of ice

We decided: This is ice from heavens.

A miracle that gets you cold beer is not a bad miracle at all.