Monday, August 24, 2009

rainy season: the weather

This morning, as I peered out the window at the now-familiar black clouds bunching in the distance, I realized that in all my trips to Uganda, I've never really experienced rainy season.

Each morning seems the same - clear and blue and even slightly hot, an otherwise beautiful dawn that now seems suspect and deceptive. I dress in my typical daily outfit - some random short-sleeved shirt, jeans and flops. And I hop into my Pajero and head to whatever meeting/coffee/internet/errand I have topping the list, turning on Fat Boy and Melanie for the Sanyu FM morning show.

I'm getting the point where I'm having a hard time remembering when the sky hasn't churned; the clouds materializing from sunshine, the heat magically evaporating, as if a vacuum is sucking the warmth from the air and turning it into gushing, weighty rivers pouring from the darkened and apocalyptic sky. It eventually fades to a light-ish gray, the green leaves freshly rinsed and the red earth churned into a sucking lurchy mess.

This week, as I drove from lunch near the US Embassy down to Lap Textiles, the rains began as I passed through the industrial area - which suddenly seemed totally abandoned - except for my lone SUV. To the right of the road I could see a sewer line exploding into the air, shooting waves of murky black water at least seven feet into the air, and then flooding the street, rushing across with a force that I imagine will sweep me away.

And then, as sudden as they came on, the rains will retreat, and a new day will dawn with another sunny, false optimism - as if no one suspects what's in store during the horrific afternoon lunch hour.

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