Thursday, 11 August 2016

What a difference some rain makes

Hot season has finally ended and I am so glad.  Gone (until March 2017) are the sweltering 45C days and 35C nights.  They’ve been replaced with a very humid but cooler climate because the rains have arrived.  It’s unusual to have a small shower here, usually it’s a full-on storm that goes on for hours with heavy rain, thunder and lightning.  Along with the rain comes standing water, along with standing water come the mosquitoes, and along with mosquitoes comes malaria :(  The number of cases of malaria that we see at the hospital is increasing daily…..

Something else that comes with the rain is grass!  Yes, believe it or not, we get grass here in the desert.  How the seeds stay alive under the ground during hot season I do not know, but it only takes a week or so of rains for them to come alive and sprout, meaning we have to get the lawnmower out!

My house in dry season

My house in rainy season

Part of the road to Guinebor in dry season

Same part of the road to Guinebor in rainy season

Another thing that comes with the rain is mud.  Lots of mud.  Half of the ‘road’ from the hospital into town is dirt track.  Dirt track + heavy rain = lots of puddles and mud.  This makes for interesting driving.  We effectively have to do 4x4 off-roading to get to the shops!  Not a lot of people can say that!  It can be exciting but most of the time I’m scared, if I’m honest.  I’m scared my Toyota RAV4 will get stuck (it’s not too high off the ground).  It’s a challenge to navigate through the mud and puddles, wondering how deep it’ll be, whether there are any hidden rocks or random pieces of scrap metal to help destroy the car that little bit more.  There are a fair few parts of the ‘road’ where there’s only a single track through at best.  Meeting another car or motorbike at these points can be stressful, as you can’t slow down and calmly go past each other, else one or both of you get stuck!  So far so good with the off-roading to the shops – I’ve not yet had to use the tow rope I diligently packed in the UK and had to face the obligatory crowd that I’m told suddenly develops when the white person gets stuck in the mud!  Long may it continue.  Here are a few pictures of the ‘road’ to the shops.  I’ve unfortunately not got the narrower and muddier parts captured on camera but you get the idea…….

Watch out Britain's roads when I’m next back, this girl is getting used to putting her foot down and ploughing on through!

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