Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The rainy season

My former garden, now the jungle, becomes more and more frightening with each rainy day

Ounaai's salad is taller than she is

the dead end of our street is now a lake

This is my second rainy season in South Africa. It is the last week of January and I’m told it will rain from now until March and then stop completely until it resumes again next November.

This is my first rainy season in my trailer. I spent last year’s in the college girls’ dormitory and was nice and dry in my second-floor abode, completely protected from the weather. With the nice, large windows in my dorm room, I had an “IMAX” view of all of the African storms that blew through.

This year, I’m in my trailer and was delighted to find it very weather-resistant. I had one leaky window that I somewhat worried about, but overall, it was fine. However, on New Year’s Eve, a severe wind blew through and downed several trees and caused extensive structural damage throughout the campus. I was lucky, as far as structural damage goes, and came away with only broken bedroom windows.

Lucky, for sure, but am now dealing with a leaking mess as the rains continue to pour down. I’ve managed to plug the broken windows with a plastic table cloth which does a fabulous job of keeping the water out, but water came in for several days before I managed this unattractive repair. The carpet in my bedroom is soaked and the rain continues, so it doesn’t dry out.

The other problem is, my trailer, the wooden parts of it, are made from pressed wood. It seems that pressed wood becomes soggy cardboard when wet. Eish.

The other things I’ve noticed is that my window frames, door jambs, and plug sockets have all warped in a way to make closing doors difficult and plugging in my electric appliances difficult.

And nothing dries so everything feels wet and damp, even my bed: ick!

The other thing the rainy season brings, and that I had forgotten, is wave after wave of hoards of bugs! Yuck! The rain also seems to anger the biting ants and they become ferocious and the biting flies are bad too. Ounaai seems to be suffering the worst of it, as she has a fresh wound in her belly—and the bugs love it!

Ounaai has tired of her confinement, is tired of her leashed walks and enforced periods of rest, and is wanting to roam (and resume eating garbage). I worry that the muddy, messy water will infect her wound, so continue to imprison her.

So, I’m pretty grumpy and crabby and have no right to be: most of my neighbors live in tin shacks; their suffering is certainly worse.

Karen, Ounaai, and my village are longing for a sunny day or two to dry out and go out and play.



more rain on the way


  1. I hope you get a break.. your window repair sounds quite creative. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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