Thursday, November 7, 2013

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” ― Roger Miller

As most folks in the U.S. are enjoying the fall, preparing for thanksgiving, going to football games, watching the leaves change and fall, feeling the chill in the air--we are entering our "other" season--rain.  We only have two seasons, wet and dry.  In November, the short rains begin but with some arriving with monsoon winds and torrential downpours that just last an hour or so--thus "short" rains.  From mid March to mid May, we have the "long" rains that are just like the short ones, but they last for several hours at a time and drag on for months.  We have thatch on the tops of our houses and buildings, but the thatch is on top of a metal, rain-proof roof.  The thatch actually sits on a grid of sisal poles that keeps it three inches off of the metal roof.  The thatch then sits on the sisal pole grid work and keeps it much cooler when it's hot and warmer when it's cold.  Okay, I know for a lot of you that sixty-five degrees hardly counts as cold, but when it is also wet and rainy (we don't have glass in our windows and no heating inside the house) we get cold.  The thatch also allows us to talk to one another while it is raining because with just the metal roof--well, I've been to rock concerts with lower decibel levels.  Normally, you only have to rethatch about every five years.  However, sometimes the monsoon like rains car wreak havoc to the thatch, and it needs to be repaired or replaced.  Amos, our security guard, is from the Sukuma tribe and is one of the few in this area who knows how to thatch, where to buy the grass, and how to keep it from blowing away.  We have a couple of structures with no metal underneath the thatch, and, if Amos thatched it--it just doesn't leak.  The picture at the right shows him up on the roof of one of the guest cottages.  It also allows him to make extra money to pay for his new house and to keep his kids in school.  He was living in a house made of mud (not fired) bricks, and during a very bad rain, a wall caved in, killing his two-year-old daughter.  Keeping him thatching doesn't cost us much, but it allows him to live in a house where he no longer has to worry about the rain causing death and pain.  We do like the rain, but not when it hurts people.  We know we need it, and God knows what He is doing, so a little rethatching from time to time is no big deal.  Don't sweat the small stuff, and everything is small stuff.
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