So it hasn’t rained since we arrived but, today, the rains have started. A few days before we flew out they had about 70mm in one day – that’s about 3 inches for those of you who still work in old money.
There have been times when the clouds have loomed heavy and dark over the nearby holds, but as yet they haven’t affected us. When they do we’ll face a number of changes, some good, some not so.
On the up side, it will be refreshingly cool for a while. The weather hasn’t been unpleasantly hot since we arrived, but a bit of freshness wouldn’t go amiss. On the down side, the roads will become more challenging. They already are.
The rains soften the ground, making it easier to prepare for next year’s crop, but they also bring health problems. According to Dr Frank, one of the two Grassroots doctors, this season sees an increase in malaria, with the many puddles providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and dysentery as people make use of the more readily available, but unsafe water.
It’s possible we’ll see more rain later this week so we would greatly appreciate prayer that the roads will remain passable. Today started cool and cloudy then by mid-morning the heavens opened. Two shortish deluges, then a solid hour of rain.
It never rains but it pours applied to the interviews as well. The team at Swaya ended up with 236 children instead of the expected 180, and the Airport team waded through 315. An estimated 30% of the week’s work.
Airport was noisy and busy, all the more so after the rains brought everyone inside and ended up crammed together in the small amount of available space.
Swaya was wet but as beautiful as ever. There was a lot of space initially, but when the rain came, everyone crammed into the church, despite there being no benches. There were also a number of youngsters in an unfortunate state, including one boy with infected chickenpox scabs the size of ten pence pieces, and another boy who lost a finger in fight with a “friend” in September, who is still awaiting an operation on his eye from about the same time.
The roads were a challenge, with Richard having to find alternative routes both directions, on the way out because someone was building across the road, and on the way back because of the rains. Despite this the Swayan’s made it back to Airport as the interviews there reached an end and a very welcome tea of rice, plantains, peas, beans, bananas and spinach appeared.
Showers and sleep now. Showers and sleep. Well, okay, the sleep will come after the evening’s round of scanning, sorting and inputting, which has just about everyone chipping in.