(words and photos by Solar Santa aka Ronnie Jack)
Has the virus pandemic left you huddled morosely gazing into your cup of soup?
I’m old as Methuselah so don’t have the luxury of wasting what little time I have left. I live on a farm and as a pensioner, I have both time and space. Precious commodities. I have little money, but being born poor, frugal is imprinted into my DNA. And I don’t have to pretend to be larney. Saves a lot of effort not having to participate in the material world masquerade.
So what opportunities did lockdown offer? The geniuses at AfrikaBurn HQ conceived HomeBurn as a digital alternative to the real thing. Enter my son who now lives on the farm to escape the soaring cost of city living. Having a captive filmmaker provided me with wonderful expertise to indulge in two videos. Not being a Burner he had to share my experience on the playa. I made the props and together we shot the shows. Judging from the number of hits we made a few people nostalgic for the desert. The videos are here:
– Unofficial AfrikaBurn 2020 – Lockdown Mini-Burn
– AfrikaBurn eCompression News (Hekpoort Division)
To indulge my quest for Binnekring Blog stories I approached the geeks and boffins who made HomeBurn and eCompression happen. Thanks to wonderful collaboration from Isa, Nathan, Skippy and the Tim I enjoyed the inside stories on the trials and tribulations of technology never tried before.
The HomeBurn – A Trilogy In Four Parts stories are at:
Pt I – The Hitchhikers Guide to HomeBurn
Pt II – The Phoenix At The End of The Pangolin
Pt III – So Long And Thanks For All The Art
Pt IV – Going Live The Universe And Everything
A vital component is wireless broadband. My guardian angels always look after me. They motivated the service providers to install a tower on top of the mountain which overlooks my farm. So I have instant access to the whole world.
Enter Steve Hippietrap. I met him at the Burn when he interviewed me for Radio Free Tankwa about the Power of the Sun theme camp. He saw the video and tracked me down from his van in Turkey!! He was on a world tour before getting stuck in a beautiful spot. I shared his paragliding adventures while he spent 5 months in lockdown, and enjoyed his Saturday night broadcasts on Shouting Fire. He’s a great ambassador for AfrikaBurn and Burns all over the world. He also sends me his music playlists which opened my eyes to the world of Spotify. You can hear him at 6pm on Saturdays at shoutingfire.com/listen
The beautiful Sonica will always live in my heart as the champion Theme Camp Coordinator. Now retired from that portfolio she is busy planning to save the planet so my grandchildren will be able to breathe. We communicate often on growing spekboom which eats the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere better than any other tree. On my bucket list is a visit to her hippie farm deep in the forest at an undisclosed location. Big Brother will never find her.
I built a big pergola to house the Power of the Sun in 2020. With that event cancelled the painted timber sat forlornly on my stoep. So we covered it in tunnel plastic, made some shelves and the spekboom cuttings flourish through the winter in their luxury greenhouse.
Greenhouse and Ronnie
Not waiting for the future to arrive, the planning for the next Burn continues. The Power of the Sun provides effortless electricity for cellphone and other charging thanks to solar power. No fossil fuel required. Having conquered that challenge we are busy with a new idea to add to the show. Enter the art gallery with a Burn flavour. Thanks to wonderful generosity from Anthony, Chris, Shannon, Adrie and Derius we are lining up stunning art pieces for display and then gift to the Burners to take home as mementos. With luck, we will provide workshops by these beautiful people to teach their skills. Each one, teach one in action.
Art by Ardrie
Art by Anthony
Art by Anthony
Art by Derius
A brilliant orthopaedic surgeon replaced my broken knee. After 5 months of indescribable pain it is now fully functional. Meggan my beautiful physiotherapist has wonderful hands which inflicted even more pain but got me mobile again. She refused to join me at the next Burn. She prefers younger men. My dancing shoes have been painted and I relish the thought of dancing with the pretty girls on the playa again.
So where are you applying your creative juices to this fast disappearing year that never was?