Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clouds, The Rainy Season, and Me

It's the rainy season in Haiti. Often the skies look like this.

Being in the rainy season means we have rain nearly every night, and sometimes we have rain in the afternoon too. As I type this it's pouring outside. I will not be taking the shortcut to the guest house or Gramothe tomorrow. It will be way too muddy for that!

Traveling by foot is interesting, at best, during the rainy season. First, you need to know that Haitians are allergic to rain and will do everything in their power to avoid being out in the rain. It can become quiet comical. Second, the main road is paved with asphalt but other roads are made of concrete. Sometimes the road consists of two parallel cement paths spaced to align with car tires, and sometimes the concrete covers the entire space for the road. It just depends on who lives on that particular stretch of the road. You also need to remember that the terrain is not flat where I live. The roads are often steep. Now we add to all of that a good amount of dirt and rocks. Throw in rain every night and you get mud, mud, loose rocks, and more slippery mud.

I have two quick stories about walking up the mountain in rainy season. Yesterday was really overcast from the beginning. Even in the rainy season the sun normally makes an appearance in the mornings. Not so yesterday. About the time I left the guest house to walk to Gramothe the clouds were covering the tops of the mountains. the clouds were dark and heavy. They were also moving pretty fast. In short, it looked like it was going to rain. I knew I had to walk fast to avoid being drenched. It hadn't rained the night before, so I decided to take the shortcut to the riverbed. I booked it to Gramothe. I actually made it in a little less than 30 minutes. I was SOOO proud of myself!! However, I was quite sweaty and really out of breath when I arrived in Arold's office. The punk actually asked me why I walked so fast. It didn't end up raining until about 4 hours later.

Today it was a little cloudy in the morning. I texted Arold to tell him I had left the guest house, and he texted me back to say, "Don't walk so fast today. It's not going to rain." Even though it rained last night I decided to take the shortcut. It didn't seem overly muddy, and I really didn't want to sprain my ankle on the loose rocks that cover the road. Well, I totally underestimated the amount of mud that would be on the shortcut. It doesn't get sun until later in the day, so none of the mud had dried out yet. It was really slippery. I did not fall, but there were a couple of close calls. I will not be taking the shortcut in the mornings after a rain anymore!!

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