Last year I was anticipating the rainy season and wondered if all the ditches would be full.
This wet season is not like I expected. The weather here has been extremely pleasant.
There are clouds around on most days now, but plenty of blue sky. Most days there is a sprinkle of rain or perhaps a ten minute soak but that compromises the bulk of the moisture that is so essential for all the small gardens to grow. Occasionally there is an exception and the big "thunder bumper" cumulus nimbus clouds form with accompanying lightning and we know we are in for a treat.
When it comes, preceded by a little wind, it is like someone is holding a garden hose on your windshield and the wipers have no effect.
Here a couple of photos from driving home the other day.
Yesterday it was so loud, Kristi and I went out on the porch of the mission home and just watched it flow and erode the street in front.
We were using separate cars so when I was ready to leave, the gate guard, Jackson, was ready to head home. It was torrential so I offered to take him home. I get to speak with Jackson several times a day as I go in and out running errands. He also calls me when the post or Fed Ex or DHL arrives, so we chat often. I had forgotten he had a bike, so he put that in the back of the truck and he showed me where he lives. It is no more than two miles from the mission home.
By the time we were half way there the rain was easing up, but the streets still had lots of water that needed a place to go.
As we drove down through Jackson's village, I asked him how the locals felt about having their pictures taken. He said it wasn't a problem, so I handed him my camera and asked if he would take some. You will notice that the ground is fairly dry already. This is within ten minutes of the downpour.
Jackson's timing wasn't that good with the camera but you can see that a little mud doesn't deter anyone.
Everything had been covered up and now was being uncovered to resume business.
The corn lady had an umbrella, but the fish lady just seemed to keep on cooking.
Jackson very graciously invited me into his home to meet his wife.
This is the outside of Jackson's home. The door leads to one room. There is a curtain of three blankets that separates the bedroom from the front room. The little girl is a neighbor. That is Jackson's fine bicycle that he keeps inside. The white cloth is to keep the flies out when the door is open for some circulation of air.
Here is Jackson in front of all his worldly possessions. They have a one burner hot plate on the left, two buckets of clean water and several jugs of water, a TV and music system and a sign made from beans that says, "Jesus Never Fails".
This home was probably the cleanest one I had been in. It took a little while for Precious, his wife, to appear from behind the curtain as I think she was putting on some very clean clothes.
I pay the security company that pays Jackson. The company gets 1300 kwacha for his monthly shift of twelve hours, six days a week. If he were to get 1200 of that, that would work out to about 46 kwacha a day or less that is 4 kwacha an hour or .72 cents an hour. He probably receives closer to 200 US dollars for the 312 working hours a month with only Wednesdays off.
Does he look happy? How about Precious? Is she happy?
Honestly, money does not make people happy.
It is our life's work to figure out where real joy comes from.