“They’ve got a hurricane in America,” Gertruida says, because she knows everything, “called Sandy. They say it is a Frankenstorm.”
“Do they have deserts over there?” Vetfaan tries not to gape. “I thought the Kalahari is the only one.”
“That hurricane has nothing to do with sand, Vetfaan. It’s about winds, rain and snow.” She’s really trying to be patient.
“Then why call it Sandy? Shouldn’t it be Rainy, or Windy?”
“Hurricanes get girl-names, silly. You don’t get girls called Windy – they’ll never make it past high school with a name like that.” Gertruida sniggers at the thought. “Imagine introducing her to your parents: ‘Hi mom and dad, this is my new girlfriend. She’s Windy.’ It just won’t go down all that well.”
“I can’t understand the hype. What makes Sandy so special?” Lucinda is used to Mediterranean storms, but this one seems worse.
“It’s the warming of the Caribbean Sea, Lucinda. It is where tropical storms get born. But if it meets the unstable cold jet stream from the melting North Pole, it causes a situation where winds from the North and South crash into each other. The one is warm, the other cold. And the energy released, is beyond comprehension. That’s Sandy.”
“Okay, I get it.” Vetfaan sits back with a satisfied grin. “It’s like Malema and Zuma. A lot of hot air gets met with a mass of cold-hearted political ambition. The result: a hurricane that disrupts lives, causes electrical shortages and drives people to leave the security of their homes. Schools get closed down, the economy suffers and people don’t work.”
Gertruida rolls her eyes. Sometimes she has to let go of the belief that her countrymen still hope for a better future.
“Vetfaan, we should think – and pray – for those folks in America. They’re facing Sandy. It’s real, you know?”
“And we’re facing our own hurricane, Gertruida. It’s called Bloody. Tell me: do they care?”