Now that summer is over, and fall has come to my village with a vengeance, I can soon expect winter, a season that few SAfricans seem to like. We say goodbye to the weather of never-ending sweat and the rainy season, and say hello to the wind and cold. Or, as I prefer to call it, the Season of the Flying Sand. The winds are so strong now that I can scarcely go outside without getting a face full of Kalahari sand!
Rainy season is rumored to be from September to April, but I scarcely saw a drop of rain until the beginning of December. Then it rained a fair amount for a week or so. Then again in January we had a few days of good, legit rainfall. However, though it is still the rainy season, I have no seen good rainfall for months. It rained, as in sprinkled a wee bit, a few days ago. But real rain is not so common.
In fact, my area gets about 14 inches of rain a year. A foot of rain, ‘tis it. I’m from Iowa, and getting an inch or two of rain in a day is not unusual. We are leaving the rainy season and heading into the dry season, and I’m a little afraid.
Why? Dry season is winter. While I don’t want rain in the winter, winter here is synonymous with winds. Wind without rain means you have crazy dust storms, and your eyes are always full of sand, dirt, and dust. It is not pleasant. In fact, back when I came in September, I remember literally dusting dirt off my skin, and having my hair covered in a visible layer of pale-white/red sand. Sand, when being flung at winds up to 50 or 70 km an hour HURTS. Furthermore, when you have high winds and dry conditions, you simply cannot keep your skin moisturized, which means you have cracked, chapped, and even bleeding skin. Ick!
I think the rain I saw yesterday will be the last for a while. Ahhh I shall miss it. Bring on the desert, likely flying into my face at a high rate of speed!