Monday, May 5, 2008

The Wet Season

It is now starting to rain as I write this…Hopefully I can post this before our power goes out… see photo below for what it looks like right before the rain starts falling...

When we came, Ghana was in the wet season. That doesn’t mean that you need to have a rain jacket on all the time. It just means that is rains frequently – maybe about 2-3 times a week (right now) and it’s more humid. Could be more, could be less.

My wash takes longer to dry on the line. And because it rains more, my husband installed clothes lines inside a few of our rooms (out of the way), so we can get dry clothes. It beats having a hot electric dryer that uses our precious electricity (read: expensive!) and heats things up more. Besides, you can’t always count on having power when you want it.

It gets muddy, VERY muddy. The roads always seem to be under construction or for the more common reason, there are a lot of unpaved dirt roads. After a good heavy rain, there are sometimes ruts and little rivers washing dirt away.

Because the gutters are commonly open here, we’ve even seen vehicles stuck a little crooked & tilted with a tire or two in a big puddle of water that is hiding an open gutter after a heavy rain.

When we need to walk somewhere after a rain, we always put our water proof shoes on (yes, we use Crocs =) and don’t worry about getting muddy or wet while we are out. Getting wet here is just part of life in Ghana sometimes. Umbrellas are good for sun cover, not just for rain.

It’s kind of funny how people head home when it rains. Appointments get cancelled most often by people not showing up at all to a meeting without telling anyone. People here know the roads get worse when it rains. Outdoor markets all but close down for the day as the paths between the stalls get very hard to maneuver. Roofs leak.

The temps dip and get cool many times when it rains. Consequently, people think it is too cold if it gets below about 85 degrees F. Yes, I’ve seen people wear jackets and coats during the wet season months.

One good thing is that you are assured a good amount of rainwater collected if you are smart enough to catch it with something you can put a lid on afterwards. Open still water is breading ground for those pesky mosquitoes that carry malaria.

I just sit back and enjoy some natural relief from the heat of the day on those precious days it rains.

Last year I wrote the following about our first rain in months…

“Showers of Blessing: March 17, 2007

During the night, we had our first rain in months. Maybe we are at the end of the dry season, we will see.

We have a woman who comes and helps with cleaning once a week. Late in the morning I could hear her singing the hymn, “Showers of Blessing” at the top of her lungs. Earlier I had asked her about the rain and if she was cold (it cools down considerably when it rains here). Yes, she is cold. Later I check the temperature. It’s 82 degrees F. That is chili for Ghana. Maybe today it won’t hit higher than 90 degrees in the house as usual lately.

It continues to rain lightly here this morning. Everyone will rejoice today and try to stay warm as the rains have come to wet this dry, dusty, thirsty land.”

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