It hadn't rained for eight months. Then on May 20, we got our first rain of the rainy season. It was preceded by a terrific dust storm. First we saw clouds with a slight orangish-brown tinge to them. Close the windows fast! Get the clothes off the line! A dust storm is coming!!!The warm humid wind has been blowing out of the south-west all day, bringing with it moisture from the Atlantic ocean. Suddenly the wind switches and begins to blow out of the north-east. As it moves back down from the north, it brings clouds of Sahara sand with it. Suddenly it is calm and quiet. The proverbial calm before the storm is here.
Then whoosh!!!! The dust cloud slams into us, forcing us backwards with its strength. Dust gets in our eyes and in our mouth. It feels like a sand-blaster pelting us with grains of sand. Suddenly the sky turns red, then as dark as night. We cannot see where we are going in the house. Outside there is an eerie reddish tinge to the darkness. We strain to hear thunder, hoping that rain will be behind the dust.
It is!!! We and our neighbors, the Goldies, start screaming and hollering, dancing around in the rain, rejoicing for God's gift to Niger.
It didn't take long for us to get cold and decide to take shelter in the house. As we went in the house our cries of joy turned into cries of panic. Rivers of dirty brown water were pouring in under the back door. Our house was flooding!!John quickly runs back into the rain and discovers that the drainage in the back is blocked with leaves and debris. He quickly unblocks it and the river running in under our door turns into a trickle. Now the clean-up begins.
Our neighbors who had been celebrating with us just a few minutes before now come in to help us mop up. We all worked for about an hour.We are so thankful we don't have wall-to-wall carpeting!!!