No longer a moto-taxi novice!

No longer a moto-taxi novice!
No longer a moto-taxi novice! It can be exhausting but it's great fun!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Rainy Season

Filling containers from overflowing gutters.
The rainy season is really letting rip now.  Today we had grey skies all morning then after lunch the heavens opened with a vengeance.  The wind sprang up too, so that the house was battered with heavy drops of rain.  The roof gutters overflowed everywhere and Dignite tried to get all the water containers filled with free water!

The orange tree is covered in little oranges which will probably benefit from the rain.    You can see my personal electricity pole too!

The front garden becoming a paddling pool!

Sadly today was market day and many traders must have got soaked and perhaps had their goods spoiled.  After the storm the people emerged from wherever they had found some shelter and gradually the market came back to life.  It's quite amazing how the roads and streets empty as the rain begins.  Life just stops temporarily as any coat or umbrella is far from adequate to protect you from such torrents.  I did eventually get myself an umbrella for lesser rainfall and tend to carry it, heavy as it, is as a kind of talisman against it actually raining on me. Many Rwandan women use an umbrella a lot, but as a parasol, especially if they are carrying a baby on their back.

Recently I hopped on a bus with a friend just as it started to rain.  We were in Kigali heading for the big market just outside town.  When we arrived at the terminus in torrential rain the bus simply stopped and nobody moved to get off, except the stupid "muzungos".  However, the conductor made it clear that we should stay as he shut the door firmly and the driver slumped over his steering wheel for a sleep.  Every mini bus that came in drove as near as possible to the shelter so that those foolish travellers who wanted to could rush off,  but most people just sat and waited until the storm had passed. 

The temperature has dropped quite a lot after today's soaking and I needed to put on a fleece even in the house for the first time.  I'm wondering if I should go and look for some wellies!  Amazingly the electricity did not fail, though I'm probably tempting fate by writing that!

Of course the un-surfaced roads just become impassable for vehicles when it rains hard.  The stones become really slippery as they are covered in a coating of mud and moto-taxis simply refuse to start a journey.  I've been lucky so far that my moto trips have only had a light sprinkling which hardly wet my visor and it was on a tarred road.  Even there the layer of dust turns into a treacherous slimy mud.  I'm really fortunate to have such a skilled driver in Daniel - I'm sure he could win motocross trials or races in the UK!  Any thoughts I entertained about getting a licence to drive myself have long ago evaporated, as I've seen how difficult many of our journeys have been for Daniel.

Daniel went shopping at the lake while I visited a rural school.  At the next stop he had it chopped up and cooked ready for dinner! 

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