The smell of beef stew tickled the senses as the fire blazed and crackled beneath it. Generators hummed in the background, the new lullaby of Zimbabwe that soothed the country to sleep every night, and woke them up with a sputter, like an aged, tedious cockerel, every morning.
She stoked the fire, and with every minute that passed her appetite grew, and her stomach echoed her thoughts. She sipped on the sauce to test it, nearly perfect.
“Nearly perfect”, a sentiment that echoed her home place so deeply.
There was so much turmoil surrounding her and the people she loved; fuel queues, endless power-cuts, prices consistently increasing, without the salaries to match, and yet… She looked around at her friends and family gathered around the fire. She paused to take a breath and listen, and below the lullaby of the generators was the sound local chip packets rustling open, local beers clinking together, a subtle celebration of survival and being together. A compliment to the local companies who were going through the same situation, yet were willing to make sacrifices to carry on going.
They were exchanging stories of the unexpected kindness they received; the store that let them take their groceries home when the network wasn’t working and the payment couldn’t go through, the vendors that rushed to help them when they got a flat tire, the calming hug from a stranger after an accident.
The stew bubbled away, and now ready, everyone gathered by the fire to dish up their fill. They were happy. The pain surrounding them was unmatched by the love, joy, and kindness that echoed inside of them.
No matter the situation, it was always the people who made it nearly perfect.