I have spent the past 5 years in the Northwest where we receive more rain than I would’ve ever thought possible. There are those cloudy, rainy days and not just a few of them, but consecutively. I have grown to enjoy the rain and I love the feeling of the chill in the air or the mist on my face during a soft drizzle. I am however; experiencing a different type of rain here and a different type of appreciation for it.
It has been hot here in Malawi since I arrived in August. Now Malawians may not all agree with that statement, but to me temperatures in the 70’s-90’s is hot. It’s been exceptionally hot lately and I have heard, “rainy season is coming.” This didn’t mean much to me until one hot day when suddenly there were dark clouds and winds and then a torrential downpour. It rained for about an hour and then the sun reappeared in the sky and it was back to normal. The rain was incredible though as it nourished the dry land and cooled things down. Ever since my first experience with rain here, I’ve been waiting in anticipation along with the majority of those in Malawi.
Today was no different. I woke up sweating because my fan was off due to a loss of power in the middle of the night. I drank some cold water and went for a swim to cool down. I then decided to skip a run since it was 92 degrees. I started some laundry and did some cleaning. As I was cleaning, I started to hear a breeze outside. I looked out my window to see dark clouds in the sky and branches swaying back and forth. This automatically causes anticipation for the thunder to roll in and the rains to pour. Within about 15 minutes, I started to hear the first few drops. When it rains here, it demands your full attention. The drops pound on the roof, making it hard to hear much of anything else. It is a welcomed event and I rushed outside to stand on my porch so I could watch the winds blow, hear the heavy drumming, and feel the water splash into the drain.
Rain here doesn’t just provide relief from the hot weather. It is depended on by so many who need the rains to grow maize and other crops. The rainy season is late in coming this year and this has hurt those who depend on it for an income and for food. They have waited, planning their crops around the rains. When it started today, I couldn’t help but think of those who depend on this rain. Life is hard for them when the rains do not come and there is no way of knowing when that will be. I have never had to wait for rain, but I do feel like all of us at different times in our lives have waited for something. Sometimes we don’t know when it will come or if it ever will. This hits close to home when it comes to Africa, as I have wanted to come here for over 6 years now. I think there’s something about the process of waiting that makes it all the more meaningful when it does happen. I feel so blessed to be here and I want to appreciate each and every day as I have had many days of waiting for this. For now I will enjoy the rain and tomorrow I will start waiting in anticipation for the rains to come again.