Tuesday, October 13, 2015


As I sit down to write this entry a storm is brewing – lots of wind, the beginning of raindrops falling,
the scent of wet earth in the air, and there’s the first thunder – still pretty far away.  Yep, it’s the end of the rainy season when there is LOTS of rain and thunderstorms!  I know I have said this in past years, but it still surprises me that rains increase as the dry season comes.  My “common sense” expects the rains to taper off and then stop.  Not here!  Can anyone explain this weather phenomenon?  I need to update my common sense.

I love to listen to the rain and to watch the storms, but first I’d better get ready:
            Unplug the microwave – check (I keep it unplugged when not in use anyway.)
            Unplug the computer and printer – check (I can still work with the battery.)
            Check the windows where rain is likely to come in – check (The curtains are blowing, sometimes straight out!  But I shouldn’t get wet because the porch protects these windows.)
            Oops.  Just heard the front door slam.  I forgot to prop it open or close it myself.  The back door is propped open so I can better see the rain.  (The same porch makes it so the rain doesn’t get in.) 

This region of Cameroon and the Central African Republic has one of the highest number of lightning strikes in the world.  This storm is just gearing up.  Sunday evening, though, we had a serious storm.  Same build-up, but a little faster.  Then as the lighting and thunder got closer suddenly there was a lightning strike with thunder at the same time.  Bam!  It made me jump even though I knew it was coming.  And, at the same time, the electricity went out.  This has happened before. 

Fortunately, there is a huge circuit breaker for the house that helps protect me.  It popped.  (Even with this protection, everything should be unplugged.  I have heard stories of a lightning strike travelling down wires and jumping several feet to fry computers.  This is strong stuff.)  This time, something else popped, too.  I don’t know where the lightning hit, but electricity for our neighborhood went out.  The next day I found out it went out for most for the whole town, too.  Get out the candles and battery lamps. 
Siting in the candlelight watching the storm is inspiring.  (Notice the mixture of candlelight and technology.  Living without electricity, but not really….)  These storms make me think of the power of God.  At times destructive, but not malicious.  At the same time, life bringing. 

Did you every try to take pictures of rain?  It’s much harder than photographing snow although in one picture I took the moisture on the camera lens makes it look a little like snow…  The other picture is to show the mud forming, but it doesn’t do that very well, either.  Oh, well.  You’ll just have to come experience this for yourself when you get a chance!

Sunday, the electricity came back at 10:30 p.m. – after three hours.  (After the storm passed, I reset the circuit breaker so that when electricity came back on, it came into the house, too.  The appliances were still unplugged so they would be no problem if the electricity surges when coming back on.) Then it was out again when I woke up, but back by 7 a.m.

No wonder it is hard to keep the grass cut at this time of year.  With daily hard rains that can last hours, grass grows as you watch it (almost) and mud is everywhere.  Watch out, much of the “dirt” is clay based and slippery when wet. 

I stared writing this just before 3 p.m., and I thought that I might or might not get to the Bible Study in the student housing camp at 4:30.  If it is raining, everyone knows that activities are postponed.  Well, by the time I got the pictures ready, the rain had tapered off.  Maybe I’ll get this uploaded and still get to the Bible Study on time!  We are reading the book of Genesis – Chapter 3 today.  Want to join us?  Send commentary, comments, and questions.  I’ll share them with the students (next week).

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