Some combination of everything in Namibia dying from drought and ‘Africa’ by Toto has given me a romantic notion about rain here.
The drought has been going on for about four years now. The safari animals would probably be dead if it weren’t for the artificial watering holes in the game parks. Most people have lost their cows, goats, and harvests to drought, and entire towns only turn on the water for an hour or two a day to conserve what little is left. So when it rained last week, it was a big deal.
It started raining as I came out of the grocery store. I was happy to get wet because it meant I could sing Toto in my head and feel cool after a hot day. But what started out as a lil’ wayne, soon became a whole lotta wayne. As the rain started to pour, the wind picked up and it was soon raining sideways. My feet slipped in my shoes and my sunscreen was washing into my eyes.
Even with the increased ferocity, I was still having fun. The last time it rained was almost a year ago and I was happy to feel a change in weather. It stopped being funny when, as I came halfway through wading across a puddle, the street lamp next to me started sparking. The wire looked like it was going to come loose. I turned around and ran back. Thank you every movie where an exposed wire in water kills someone for teaching me how not to get electrocuted. Right as I stepped out of the puddle, a car pulled up and opened the door. “Get in!”, said my savior. He had seen the sparks and was just as scared for me as I was. This nice man took me through the puddle in his car and dropped me at my destination.
This whole event took about ten minutes. Things escalate quickly here.