16 February 2006

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

...and mud keeps filling up my shoes! Ok, so the other nite I wrote a long rambling blog (not that this one's short!) on the rain and all its inconveniences. Let's just say it's a good thing I write these things out beforehand! Naturally the rain is good for coffee and other crops, and naturally it has its inconveniences. But as those inconveniences differ from life in the states, let me tell you about our life with rain here. First of all, 90% of the drivers here drive motos. Which means if you're going to get anywhere, you will most likely get wet. It's not uncommon to see people riding around clothed in garbage bags as ponchos, or the passenger (usually a woman) holding an umbrella over her and the driver. But a moto is still better than the back of a wet mule! Secondly, the roads in the campo are dirt, which turn to rivers and muddy lakes when it rains. This makes travel on a moto or even a truck rather dangerous. While a truck is just likely to slip or get stuck, a moto can slide out from under you (or land on top!). Luckily I haven't experienced this! Another interesting result of rain and travel is that the trucks running up the mountain only take people in the cab. Naturally since they're losing money on passengers in the back, they fill the cab full. Imagine... 8 people in a truck cab! (That's still alot for a king cab!)
And the list goes on. Since this is an agricultural zone, the rain is important. But it also damages crops. Nobody picks coffee when it's raining, but the rain makes it ripen faster, often leaving the farmer with over ripe coffee, or a loss since most of the ripe coffee falls from the trees. Cloudy and rainy weather also means not being able to dry coffee (since it's dried in the sun).
So imagine, you go to school walking, or maybe you get a bola (free ride) on a friend's moto, and you get there wet & muddy. None of the buildings are closed or warmed, so you sit thru your 4 hours of school wet. When you get home, there's no way to dry your school clothes (no sun to hang them up, and definitely no driers!) and no way to warm up (no hot showers or heaters here!). So you head back outside to play or work in the rain. Any wonder people get sick here?!
Anyway, rain affects the lives of the people here greatly, but life goes on. For me, it's alot of little changes. Such as how there's no water in the pipes when it rains. (Ironic, huh?) And how there's very little to do other than sit around and talk or play pool. Or how everything gets damp! Clothes left hanging in my room and my bedding all get a wonderful damp feeling when it rains. Hurrah for humidity! So, today I sit here, watching the rain come down, hoping to stay dry, but knowing at some point I'll be getting wet... but hopefully not too muddy! Hope you all are surviving the rainy season at home and staying dry as well!
P.S. I'm hoping to have my own house by the end of this month. Pray all goes smoothly!
Some random recent pics:
Some women picking coffee

Me & some of my volunteer friends during a recent trip to the capital

1 comment:

Mrs. Stearns First Grade said...

I have to say we are still looking forward to our trip in April even if there's rain and mud.Sounds a little messy! Love ya mom