Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Bless the Rains Down in Africa

Hello everyone! Kuli Komwaka! (Happy New Year!)

I send my apologies for my lack of writing for the last while… unfortunately my keyboard decided to stop working, so anytime I tried to type anything, it came out like this: jivnrioanvra;jfkljd;saiovrioanhf// So I decided that either it was broken, or aliens were trying to contact me. And then my mom came to visit and we had AWESOME adventures involving new people, lions, tsetse flies, rogue elephants and electric showers! So I’ve been really busy over the last month, but having an amazingly fun time!

I have a lot to catch you all up on, but first, I have to tell you about what just happened.

Since a few weeks before Christmas, we’ve been living in what Ugandans affectionately call “the dry season.” The end of November going into December, the rain had been slowing down, not happening so often. At this point, the other teachers were laughing at me. I was complaining about how hot the weather was becoming and that the dust was picking up in the air every time a car passed, and they said, “Oh Anna, only you wait.”

By February 10th, and I understood. The heat was intense like the hottest days of summer and the sun burned me if I didn’t put on sunscreen when I stepped out the door for five minutes. The dust was so bad that coming back from a weekend trip, I could write my name on my desk, and when a car passed, I had to step off the road and shield my face, because it was blinding. I likened it to the way it was in South Bend right after a dusting, when you’re driving and a car passes and you can’t see for a few seconds until the snow settles down. I arrived at school every day this strange orange tint like a spray on tan gone horribly wrong. All of the plants turned orangey-brown, not because they died (because surprisingly, they didn’t) but because the dust was so much that it settled on top of everything.

Throughout this time, the normal signs of rain would happen. The sky would get dark, the wind would pick up, lightning would light up the sky while thunder rumbled around it. And then, nothing. The storm would blow over.

But then two days ago, it didn’t blow over!

Right before a storm, there’s this high feeling of anticipation in the air. I remember sitting on a swing in my aunt’s yard in Atlanta right before a thunderstorm one summer, feeling this anticipation. Again, it’s like that, only moreso, because everyone is outside. For some reason, right before the heavens open, cars start honking, dogs start barking, kids are yelling louder than usual. It’s this sense of chaos with the background of a freakishly dark blue-gray sky.

And then, the rain. Anything good that’s ever been said about rain, if I didn’t understand it before, I think I certainly do now. (Cue background Toto music) After feeling constantly dirty for weeks and weeks, it gave a sense of cleanliness truer than a shower. Within seconds of the downpour, the world became green again, as the dust was washed off of the plants. The air felt cool for the first time in what felt like forever. And the drops of rain splattered against our tin roof, providing this deep sense of calm as it canceled out any of the other noises. Watching what children were still left outside running for cover of any overhang, the world became refreshed, renewed, and peaceful.

And then I realized I had just finished my laundry for the week, meaning it was all still hanging on the line. Fail.

But I didn’t care. Life is wonderful.


  1. God bless the rains! Especially if rains mean we get updates!! :-) Just curious, is June during rainy season or dry season?

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  3. YAY for an update! :) Love your description of the rain -- literally as I was reading it I heard thunder rumbling outside my window, lol. So glad it's cooling down for you!

    p.s. this is Emily W. :)