Saturday, December 5, 2015
“Every rainy season, if I can sleep, I dream of drowning in the flood.” ― Joseph Mgubu
The heavy rains are still with us. We will have a day or two of sunshine and then monsoon rains hit us again. The ground is saturated, so there is no place for the rainwater to go, and flash floods take down homes, wash out roads, and kill people. Just yesterday, a six-year-old girl, tried to go to the store and was washed away while her mother, helpless, watched her drown. They are still looking for her body. Whenever I talk about wanting the rain to go away, I am shushed by the locals who know that without rain, the farms (shambas) will not grow the crops the people need to survive. It is a horrible Catch-22, without the rain there will be no food, but the rains always bring death and destruction with them. I am reminded of a quote I have used here before, “Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain, but you can’t make a rainbow without a little rain.” I guess the key word in that quote is “little” and what we are having now was, in the past, a little rain. This was the season of the “short rains” and people didn’t prepare their houses and daily routines like they did for the “long rains” and therein lies the problem. Shaban has used sandbags and concrete reinforcement around his house but most has already washed away. Right now, the sun is shining and looking out my office window I can see beautiful stalks of young corn looking very healthy and lush. Everywhere in our area, which is quite uphill from the half of Bunda near Lake Victoria, the rains come but run downhill and away from us. No one this side of the main paved road/highway that runs through the center of town is suffering, but all those below that main road are in trouble. The skies are blue at the moment but they were yesterday, too, and in the late afternoon, we could see the dark, gathering clouds headed our way that dumped tons of water on us just after dark last night. It’s just not fair, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Here we worry about survival, people losing their homes and family members to nature’s fury that shouldn’t be happening now. I have read in the news that it is the poorest people and those most unable to protect themselves that will suffer most from global warming. If this is a result of that, then we only have worse to expect. When I read about the sales and shopping and see Facebook posts about getting ready for Christmas and cookies and parties, I have to sigh, bow my head, and ask for patience and for God to send compassion to those who can help the helpless. We will do what we can, but we need your prayers . . . and more. Please do what you can.