The rains have come! It's been a long dry and hot season these last few months. Everyone has said the rains would come in March but the first of March came and went and I doubted the accuracy of the Ugandans telling me so. As the dry season has crept later and later the effects are becoming more visible. The fruits and vegetables in my market have become smaller and less colorful. There are radio announcements and Government sent text messages about food scarcity and possible famine in different parts of the country. And the cost of posho (maize flour) has almost doubled. Ugandans have told me they are eating only one meal a day and praying the rains come quickly and not too heavily that they wreck the crops or cause landslides and other property damage.
Well, they have come! And not too hard yet. I think the rainy season officially began two days ago. We had a good down pour for about an hour. I was tempted to think it was only a fluke and that the rainy season wasn't really starting but then it rained again yesterday for an hour and now, today, there is thunder, lightening and rain!
I am a girl who typically relishes light and warmth. In the past, I associated rain with dreary gray skies, bone-chilling cold and frizzy hair. But my perspective has changed since living in Uganda. Now, rain is a welcome respite from the insufferable heat, it settles the swirling dust and it gives me an excuse to take an hour long nap in the middle of the day.
Yesterday, an especially loud clap of thunder sent Grace flying into my house with a scream and eyes bugging out of her head. She ran into my arms and we snuggled down on my couch to read a book. Soon my eyes became heavy. The rain began to fall and I had to get up anyway to adjust my upside-down umbrella catching the rain that leaks through my roof. I put a bucket on the ground to catch rain from another hole too. Then I called Grace into my bedroom and we laid down on my bed listening to the gentle taps of rain on my tin roof. It was a nice rain, not a deafening one. Lulled by the steady sound and the warm body heat, we soon fell asleep. Grace's little arms were entwined with mine and my chin rested on her head. Almost an hour later, we woke to the slowing of the rain. Grace sat up and wiped her mouth at which point I realized my arm was covered in drool. We smiled at one another and moved to get on with the rest of the afternoon. I love the beginning of the rainy season!