July 3, 2011

Summer Storms and Such

In Ethiopia, June to September is kiremt, or rainy season. It’s constantly drizzly and cold, a thin coating of mud replacing dry season’s coating of dust, and everyone who can leave the country does. It rains a little every day and at least every other day there’s a good, quick storm. The thing is, though, that all the roofs are tin, so those twenty minutes of crackling thunder driving rain pound on the roof. And it is LOUD. Add a little hail to the mix, and it becomes deafening. You have to yell to even try to be heard, or just give up and stand at the window or doorway, transfixed. And sometime you can’t help but run out into it and drench yourself.

I’m reminded of that right now as I sit in the middle of a good ol’ American summer storm. It’s opposite of my familiar kiremt rains, all humid and hot, and though I can feel the thunder like it’s clasping its fists together around my house and the rain is trying to creep in through the windows, it doesn’t shake your bones in quite the same way.

It is, however, dark outside, and I am alone in my big house. During last week’s storm I watched from my porch as a tree limb fell onto the power lines, and walked back inside to no power, so with that in mind I’m sitting here half-dreading that it will suddenly go dark around me and I will have to figure out a plan B (I’m just not prepared for that kind of thing in this country).

In the meantime, the big window right next to my bed is the perfect frame for the lightning that is occasionally scrawling itself across the sky.

Here’s hoping that doesn’t end up being my only light.

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