Muda Mrefu

The Rain

I am writing in the midst of a long thunderstorm that has been rumbling on for a couple of hours now. It rained last night, all night, and was gray and muggy all day. The sun made a fleeting appearance in the afternoon, but for most of the day the sky threatened to rain on us. We are in the short rains, but the season should be ending about now and they never really came as they should have. The wakulima, the farmers, are all complaining. Our night watchman Noel keeps me up to date with the mood in the village. He is a farmer as well, as pretty much everyone is. Tanzanians up the hill here all have a job and a small shamba (plot) that they work after their regular job hours.

As I write the rain has become stronger, pounding on the tin part of our roof (most of it is actually terracotta tiles; very Mediterranean, you might say…). From one perspective our life here is much the same as it ever was in New York. We work about 8 hours per day, come home and begin to live our domestic life. Our evenings are spent being completely consumed with our amazing little girl, and perhaps reading a few pages of a book. Sometimes we borrow DVD’s or watch some of the more obscure titles that Matt recommended to us. This does not leave so much time for sitting around and just experiencing Tanzania, and sometimes I panic at the thought of not experiencing it enough.

Then it rains like this, and we go outside onto the verandah and watch the sheets of water come down, smell the wet dust, and revel in the idea that the tree, vegetables and flower bushes and potted plants that we have planted will be creeping skyward as we sleep, green and vibrant in the morning when we get up. My anxiety about experiencing Tanzania fully begins to ebb away.

Of course, with rain comes shida (problems) with power. Right now, the music that has been playing in our living room has been replaced by the metronomic beeping of the UPS (Uninterrupted Power Source, essentially a big back-up battery) under my desk that feeds my computer in the darkness of a power cut. I get about 7 minutes more power, but I am going outside anyway. So that’s all. I’m done. When the pwer comes back and we have internet, I’ll post. It will be after Christmas by then, as we are leaving in the morning for Marangu. So Merry Christmas too, if you subscribe to that celebration. Otherwise, Jimmy, Brian, Steve, happy holidays etc. Usiku mwema. Good Night.

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December 27, 2007 - Posted by | Arusha

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