Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's raining...when?

That's the million Dalasi question. The 'green season' rains (green season is the PR spin for monsoon in this neck of the woods, but an apt description) can strike at any moment, and the gathering of dark clouds isn't always a sign of heaven opening its floodgates until you feel the wind suddenly pick up.

After two extremely hot and humid days interspersed with overnight showers, I had just about reached breaking point, not just because I'm a wussy toubab but because of the various insect repellents and factor 30 suncream us pale faces need to slather on to survive the season. 

The sticky residue on my skin drives me insane, but I am still too new to this country to give it up, and too vain to go the sunburned package tourist route.

So the feel of that first juicy fat drop of rain on my skin while we were driving down the coast this morning, past the pungently scented fishing village of Tanjie, was an almost sensual experience. And all the better for being firmly ensconsed in a (virtually) rainproof four wheel drive.

By the time we made it back to Fajara however, the aftermath of the hour-long torrent had transformed Kairaba Avenue - the main drag - into a tranche of foot sucking gloopy red mud broken by pools of water deep enough to throw small children into.

I squelched into the Gampost office to finally mail my postcards home oozing worms of mud from between my toes with my flipflops casually throwing out little sprays of wet sand. I'm pretty sure the guy on the door rolled his eyes in dismay as he looked at my trail.

Of course when we got back to the office the rains had outed the electricity for most of the day so we were back on generator power, which roars like a bad-tempered lion, drowning out most attempts at quiet conversation.

To top it all off, three young men from the company that supply our printers etc. came to replace the toner cartridge. I think they were in training because as they pulled the security seal off the cartridge it erupted in a cloud of black powder...all over me, my laptop, the office.

And then the generator blew up.

All par for the course in Africa. 

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