Mike saw this water spot on the counter… isn’t it weird how much it looks like Africa? Even Madagascar?
I’m writing about the weather just to make sure we don’t one day forget. It is, after all, a huge factor in the life we live here. “Sub-Tropical” is the official term, meaning that it’s rainy and tropical for part of the year (December through April), but there is still a relatively coldish period (May through August) when it’s cool enough to kill off some of the bugs and dry out the mildew. Which is one reason why we like Zambia! The bugs have a Death Season. But the rain is nice right now, everything is so vibrantly green against the red mud and the blue sky that turns purple with the threat of rain every afternoon.
We were running from this thunderstorm on our trip to Livingstone last weekend. Even in the rain, Zambians just kept living and working as usual. “We’re not made of salt, we won’t melt,” I was told.
When it’s not raining, it gets very HOT. Intense and bright. Is that because we’re so close to the equator? At noon, there are no shadows because the sun is directly overhead. I tried to get a picture of the hot one day out in the backyard…
Now that it’s the rainy season our yard is bursting with flowers and thick, shiny leaves, not to mention mangoes and guavas that fall to the ground with a THUD. The neighborhood trees are stretching their branches to make canopies over the road. During our drive through the countryside to Livingstone last weekend, the fields were full of Zambians out tilling their plots of corn, pumpkins, and squash. The colors are really breath-taking, so different from the way it looks during the drier season.
We don’t like the bugs though!! There are ants and lizards and mosquitoes everywhere in the house, and the bugs outside are ones I’d just rather not mention. Every night we have a ritual Mosquito Stalking before going to bed as a matter of survival, especially for Eli and Me. The mosquitoes like us best, and even one of them in the house is enough to leave us covered in bites. Mike is especially good at killing mosquitoes! We don’t really mind the lizards, they’re pretty harmless, but one day there was something really stinky in the boys’ room. We thought maybe it was an air conditioner that needed a cleaning, but the smell kept getting worse until we looked under the bed and found a decaying lizard, trapped under the train set. EWW!! It took a few days to clear the air of that one.
I also don’t like the way that we have to keep the air conditioners constantly running in the house, which we do to keep the humidity down. I’m so scared of our wool and winter clothes getting ruined before we have a chance to wear them again! They’re packed away in plastic/canvas bags and stored with cedar chips, but I still worry about the havoc that Africa may wreak on my wardrobe. And it’s damp enough in the kitchen (where we don’t have an A/C) that our salt shakers don’t work because they are crusted up with clumps of salt. So annoying.
Eli and Jake don’t seem to notice the weather a whole lot, they’re always still out swimming, playing soccer, riding bikes, or digging in the dirt. Jake is more of a soccer guy and Eli is more of a dirt-digger. They both like to wash the mud off their bikes!
It’s usually cloudy for most of the day, but the downpour only lasts a few hours so there’s still time to go out and live without a rain coat and rain boots. The boys like any opportunity to go out and walk through puddles in their raincoats and rain boots!
I like anything that makes me feel like eating soup. But mostly I like that the rain reminds me of home.