Okay… so I’m not usually covered in rain, except for in the bottom photo. But that is the title of a song by my favorite musician – John Mayer – of which I’ve unceremoniously deemed the theme song of this rainy season. If you’re looking for a cozy, mellow, afternoon tune, I would highly recommend listening to it. And here are a few other rainy day favorites of mine to get you in the mood for this post…
- Covered in Rain – John Mayer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0rKZi_fQgg)
- Africa – Toto (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdBcfRhzzAA)
- No Rain – Blind Melon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVn6b7DdpA)
- Dreams – Fleetwood Mac (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RgT8Vm9_Eg)
- Rain King – Counting Crows (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLHso6hLHFA)
As I write this, water is pounding down on our tin-esque roof so hard that I can almost feel the sound. There’s a rectangle hole in the ceiling (not sure why?) right outside my bedroom door which directly exposes the underside of our roof and provides access to the deep, comforting echo of rain. Rain has been, for as long as I can remember, one of my favorite things about life.
When I first arrived in Uganda at the end of July through the time that I went back home for my brother’s wedding, it was still considered the dry season. But since I’ve been back, we’ve been deep into one of Uganda’s two annual rainy seasons (the other around April/May).
For someone that absolutely loves rain – the smell, the sound, the feeling, the mood – I had really been looking forward to this. Kasese did not disappoint! It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve heard the loudest thunder and experienced the hardest rain storms of my life here. At the risk of embarrassing myself, my co-fellows can vouch for a time when what I thought was the crack of a gunshot nearby in the game park that caused me to crouch in the fetal position and subsequently sprint full-speed to our van, was just lightening.
But, there are also consequences to rain that I’m not accustomed to back home. Most importantly, if there’s rain, there’s probably not power. I’ve been told this is sometimes a precautionary measure to ensure no accidents happen, which seems to align with the fact that usually within 15 minutes after the rain ends, the power is promptly turned back on. But with the power, of course, goes the internet, ability to charge anything, use of our two stovetop burners in the kitchen, etc. Not to mention, we don’t have a car so our most common means of transport, walking or boda (motorcycle), are not possible in these heavy rain storms. So even if not having power still excites me like a small child and justifies my purchase of an overpriced headlamp at REI, not being able to use internet, charge my cell phone/laptop, or cook dinner can be a slight challenge at times.
From the little time I’ve experienced of rainy season so far, it seems as if the heavy downpours occur most usually in the evening of very hot days around 4:00-6:00pm. Luckily, this often means I am already at home from work and watching the rain fall in my PJs from the comfort of my couch. But, I can’t deny that the two times we’ve all been forced to sprint through the rain to our door was not just a little bit fun (see photo!).
It’s now been just over two months that I’ve been in Uganda, and we’ve been fortunate enough to not have significantly extended periods of electricity, internet connectivity, or water loss to our house yet – either caused by rain or just other outages. And though I try to approach these slight nuisances with patience and resilience, there have been times when we barely have internet at work for a full week or dinner could not be cooked and it was raining too hard to travel anywhere for food. At these times, I certainly appreciate the level of infrastructure that I’ve been privileged with my whole life yet saddened by the inequity I observe. (See earlier blog post here to read about effects of flooding in Kasese earlier this year.) These kinds of feelings are what motivated me to join Global Health Corps in the first place and provide meaning, for me, to the kind of work I try to pursue.
So for now (and now that the power is back on so that I can post), it’s back to being… covered in rain…and enjoying the simplicity and beauty of it for the next month or so.