Friday, November 2, 2012

I bless the rains down in Africa!

The rain has started

It seems that in the weeks leading up to the rains, all Africa holds its breath. It gets hot. The winds start. The clouds start to build.

The talk of rain is on everyones lips. It doesn't matter if you are in the city or your talking with a farmer, all are looking for the rains. Because everyone knows if the rains don't come it will be a difficult year.

We were up on the mountain when they came, and boy did they come!

Brother Wilson Maturo had invited us to attend a send off (engagement party) for his wife's sister and by the time we headed up the mountain the Prado was full. Maturo was up with me in the seat of honour. His wife was in the back seat with Allen and Mbise. Right in the back were Brother Willy and his wife and the 2 grandmothers we there as well. I said the Prado was full.

We were a happy lot as we headed up.

Yesterday Arusha officially became a city and the president arrived to confirm that honour. As a result of his visit we are getting a lot of road works done all around - this is what we found as we went up the mountain. The dirt road had be roughly graded and I soon had to shift into 4X4.

No worries, while the 10 tonne truck ahead of us was struggling the mighty Prada laboured on without breaking out a sweat, so up we went.

That's when the rains started - the African rains!

It bucketed down!

The loose road started to become mud and I had to shift into low range. Still all was well until we came upon a truck stopped in the middle of the road. I knew I could not get around it, I would have ended up in the gutter, so there was nothing to do but wait. As it turned out there were two large trucks further up the road completely bogged!

So we waited about 1 1/2 hours until the wonderful rain stopped. When it started to ease we saw that the truck ahead of us carried other people heading for the send off - they piled out of the truck obviously intending to walk the rest of the way.

I wasn't able to move the Prado forward - the mud now was too slick. And couldn't back down, I would soon be off the road. Fortunately there was a side track to the right and just behind us. With a little work I was able to get onto that and turn around.

It was getting late and I could see getting down the mountain would be a challenge, but still people wanted to go to the send off. Allen stayed with me and the others went on by foot to the celebrations.

We made it down OK but anther route and rejoiced over the rains.

Now the next morning everything is fresh - it has been raining all night!

And the flying ants are out - this is Africa.

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