Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bittersweet Rain

The rain has started to fall in Mombasa. And I have mixed feelings about it.

Rain is a blessing in Africa. I am hearing from people back at home in Canada who are tired of the dreary rain. All they want is for it to stop. Here in Africa, people pray pray pray for rain! Without rain, their crops won't grow which means no income, no food, no school, no nourishment, etc.

As many are rejoicing in the rain, it's very bittersweet for me.

You see, here in Mombasa, the cold season has not yet arrived. This means that it is still incredibly hot at all times of the day. One would think that a good dose of rain would cool down the temperature but that is completely false. Most of the heat in Mombasa is due to it's intense humidity. If you add a ton of rain(moisture) to an already humid environment, you are just creating a sauna. After the rain has stopped, you sweat more than you were before the rain came. Once the cool season comes, rain won't have that effect as the humidity levels drop. But for now, rain brings heat.

Rain also brings mud. Mud mud mud galore. Yesterday, I went to the market. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best day to go to the market as it had poured the night before. Everything was a big pool of mud. It felt like I was gliding on an ice rink of mud. I had to use all my inner muscles to stay up and not fall down. My feet were completely covered in mud as I stepped in numerous mud puddles. NO fun.

Then this morning I discovered that the little parking lot in our compound does not have the greatest drainage system. I stepped outside to welcome visitors and found that they entire parking lot was flooded. What a great welcome for my visitors! 'Sorry about the swimming pool in the middle of the parking lot. Your shoes might get a bit wet. But welcome to our home!' After a few hours, the gigantic puddle did disappear.

BUT there are some benefits to rain. Like I mentioned before, it is a huge blessing to those who depend on it to water their crops. There are not many who depend on it in the coast as I think most of the fruit and veggies grown here do best in the heat. Nonetheless, I am happy for the farmers.

And there is that special feeling, ambiance, peace that rain does bring. It quiets every other noise (and gives me a break from my neighbours sound system). It's calm. It is indeed cool for a little while. It makes you want to sit down with a good book and a cup of coffee.

So for me, the rain is bittersweet indeed.

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