There’s Rain in Africa

I felt a little bit exposed to the elements this week.
I live in a summer rainfall area of South Africa and normally, we don’t really have rain until the 10th of October. But, this year – we didn’t really have rain at all until the 16th of December. And since then, it’s been coming down in buckets.
I’m not complaining about the rain, naturally. If I complain about that, then I am never allowed to complain about the fact that it doesn’t rain ever again. I love rain and on the odd occasion, I even like getting caught in the rain. There’s something invigorating about standing in the pouring sheets of water. The rain drops are cool and sweet, much better than any normal shower.
Of course, I do not appreciate having rain in my car…

I’m taking a few steps back.

I started work again on Tuesday after having the week off between Christmas and New Years. My first day was spent in the office, catching up with beginning of the year paperwork and assignments that I neglected to do before I took my leave. Wednesday I decided to start my traveling again to the chicken farms where I do my business. I drove to an area relatively close to us (about two hours drive) and I could tell right off that it was going to be a very wet day as the thick white clouds followed me wherever I went.

The roads were also in a terrible condition (though I should add that they were bad to begin with). As things are in my country, the tax payer’s money rarely reaches its designation and our municipalities do not see the value of fixing roads. (They’d much rather all drive shiny cars). I took these pictures coming back from my appointments to show to my work as proof why I had been late for more than half of my appointments. My traveling time was almost doubled because I had to constantly stop, dodge pot holes, get off the side of the road, crawl through some poor farmer’s maize field and then finally get onto the road again only to be held up by some poor soul who needed to change a tire… It was harrowing to say the least and not for the first time, I found myself wishing that I had a 4×4, not a small little hatchback Opel Corsa Lite.

But, I came past all the literal pit falls in my road safely, without even loosing one of my tires, a feet very few people accomplished that day. If you look at the photos, I would like to point out that most of the road looked like this

I was pretty fed up with driving by the time I turned home, but Mother Nature was not done with me yet. The clouds, which had disappeared over lunch time, came back with a vengeance and pretty soon, dark clouds stole my sunshine and anointed me with more rain. This would’ve been fine if I had that 4×4 but sadly, my tiny little Corsa isn’t very rainproof. Or rain friendly. In order to keep my windows from fogging up, I have to keep one window open. I don’t mind getting wet all that much, but this was no ordinary storm. Before long, I was driving (slowly) through knee deep water, keeping my eyes fixed on the car in front of me, trying to take comfort in the fact that the car behind me was a jeep and could pull me out of the mud if I sailed into any trouble. To add to my discomfort, a truck stormed by me, sending a wave of muddy brown water into my lap because I had to keep my window open…

Again, I’m not complaining about the rain. For all the flooding that’s been happening (which wouldn’t have happened if people build things correctly and kept nature’s water ways in mind when they put up settlements…) it’s been a blessing. On the farm where I keep my horse we’ve really had a grazing problem because there was just no grass for the animals to eat. The wonder is how quickly everything just suddenly started growing! Grass which looked barely alive a couple of weeks ago now stood almost ankle high, lush and green, the bare ground almost completely covered. I am thankful for it every day and there’s no such thing as too much rain. There is, however, something like an inefficient car…

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9 thoughts on “There’s Rain in Africa

  1. Antonio January 7, 2011 / 5:15 pm

    I’ve had jobs where i had to do a lot driving, but luckily they were mostly highway miles. Still, there were side roads–roads less travelled–in more rural areas that got kinda dangerous in bad weather. Hopefully, your visibilty was OK–it sucks to be surprised by a jaw-rattling pot hole. 🙂

    • Alyssa January 11, 2011 / 10:42 pm

      or tire bursting one…

  2. Marsha January 8, 2011 / 12:52 am

    For some reason I can see your photos Alyssa. I’ll take your word for it.

    • Marsha January 8, 2011 / 2:40 am

      I can see them now. Wow some of your areas look pretty rural. Very pretty country.

      • Alyssa January 11, 2011 / 10:42 pm

        I’m fortunate to work in the countryside. 🙂 So, yes – I always drive in the rural areas.

  3. Ryan January 9, 2011 / 5:50 am

    You have it pretty rough with travelling and all, but I really admire your determination.

    • Alyssa January 11, 2011 / 10:41 pm

      What pays my bills, motivates me…
      I should tweet that…

  4. satisne January 10, 2011 / 2:45 pm

    That is truely some very impressive potholes. Just so very glad that you managed to stay safe and that Corsa despite is limitations in regards to climate control managed to get you home safely. Was scared for the little blue car……

    Any new pothole technologies could really benefit from being tested in those areas.

    Stay safe

    • Alyssa January 11, 2011 / 10:39 pm

      naturally. but only if the sentiment is returned.
      i believe the little blue car’s eyes widened to magnificent proportions. As I took the picture, it gathered itself and leapt over the hole!
      Or, wished that it could. As it were, the driver had to inch past it. 🙂
      Good to see you here.
      Keep well.

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