So it's the rainy season here in Tanzania and it pours copious amounts nearly every single day, especially at night, the noise of the droplets hitting the tin roofs deafening. These past couple of days have been the worst as the rain has been constant all day long which would be great if I worked at, say, the New York Public Library, all nice and cozy, but when you work in an African village....not so much.
In addition to the near-apocalyptic rain we're getting, it's also bitterly cold (well, Africa-cold, with lows of about 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit), and muddy as can be. I am constantly chilled and swathed in wool here in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, just 200 miles south of the Equator. Who woulda thunk it possible?
Msaranga, in particular, is a cold and muddy and my first day back at school after the Easter break got off to a roaring good start as my car got stuck in the sludge. It took Headmaster Kennedy, Teacher Vumi, and about 30 primary schoolboys to finagle a way to get it out. Needless to say, my blood pressure soared for a good couple of hours while it was precariously tipped in this ditch.
In addition to the perils of driving in this weather, there's always the issue of what to wear. Everything will no doubt be covered in muck by the end of the day and the only shoes I can bear to put on are a beat-up pair of Converse. The kids laugh but the best way for me to remove the mud before entering class is to do a little moonwalk, which they now love to mimic. And, I think it can go without saying that these are NOT good hair days....
Last but most definitely not least - and I'm not even sure this has to do with the rain or if it's just power-rationing - is the fact that I've not had electricity at home for nearly 42 hours. In fact, I am writing this blog entry by candlelight, feeling a little like Mozart composing the Requiem although obviously my masterpiece is not nearly as grand as his (though my state of mind might be just as incoherent; stress-related however, not alcohol-induced....it's VERY frustrating!)
But I have to remind myself "to stick out my chin, and grin, and say, the sun'll come tomorrow....!"
I also have to remind myself that in February 2010, I was without WATER for two weeks, so to have no electricity for a couple days is hamna shida, and it's kama kawaida for a lot of Tanzanian families to have neither on a daily basis, so that puts a lot in perspective.
I'm just betting my bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun....mungu akipenda....