I spent my second birthday in South Africa in a friend’s village, visiting during the holiday season. Her village was a strange one, a farming village on the Botswana border on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Being a farming village, it had both a white and a black population, which was unusual. And due to the diversity, it was a little more developed, with a pizza shop, cafe, and a couple of guest houses (B&Bs).
My birthday is at the tale end of December, so after a Christmas celebration with some close friends, I headed to her village to spend my birthday and New Year’s at her place. We had planned to spend a couple of nights at her house and a couple of nights at the guest house.
My birthday dawned hot. Now, being a December baby, hot birthdays were still new to me. I was used to freezing cold winds, snow, ice, and darkness. Walking around in desert sand with a sleeveless shirt on boggled my mind.
But that day was especially hot. Actually, the hottest day I have ever experienced in my life. It was 115F (46C), which was brutally hot in the scorching desert sun. We decided to head to the guest house early in the day and swim in the pool.
The mile or so walk there with our bags was brutal, with the hot sun reflecting off the shifting sand beneath our feet. It was an excruciating walk, and by the end, we were ready to collapse.
But then we saw the green grass behind the guest house gates, and the sparkling blue pool. And we quickly changed and found relief in the cool waters.
I don’t know when I’ve ever enjoyed a pool that much! It was a true blessing (and a relief) on a wickedly hot day!