Mvua Kubwa (Big Rain)

‘Tis the rainy season here in northern Tanzania. Like Puget Sound, umbrellas are typically frowned upon by students, but instead of raincoats, banana leafs seem to be in vogue. We’ve had a lot of mvua kubwa (big rain in Kiswahili), and a recent thunderstorm even felled a few trees and knocked down the pour. However, losing power in our house is nothing new to my family since the Tanzanian government has been initiating planned outages that can last several hours about five times a week since December. When the power goes out, my family makes do with candles and kerosene lanterns. Cooking in a smokey candle-lit kitchen with rain pounding on the roof has become the norm. Last night we had rain that I can only describe as monsoon-like, and even the ng’ombe was mooing late into the night in response to the huge thunderclaps and lightning. This morning, my walk to school was treacherous and the rocks we hop across to cross the river on the way to school were almost completely submerged. Despite the wet and muddy conditions from Ng’eresi (my village) to Bangata (the village where my school is located), I was still able to marvel at  the beautifully lush scenery: banana trees in the foreground and recently snow-capped Mt. Mehru in the background. Mehru towering over us like Rainier on our walk to school helps bring UPS, which can seem like worlds away, closer to home.



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