Monday, June 09, 2008

Rain and a Clean-up Party

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!!!


Katie Barker said...

Oh praise the Lord for Rain! What a blessing, a joy, an encouragement!

Beth said...

Great pictures of the storm, Nancy. Glad you found the drainage problem quickly. As wonderful as the rain is, I guess one doesn't really want it in one's home. :)

Dusty Penguin said...

Great photos! I can feel and hear the wind and rain.

Esther said...

Wow, that was one big rain! Does your house often flood? I must say I've been really lucky during these past decades in Niger, never having lived in a house that flooded from the ground. Just a few leaks from the roof but nothing a bucket (or two!) can't take care of. And as for the new house that Anette and I moved into, it's welcomes dust from any direction but keeps the water out as the roof is good... :-)

I'm not a frequent visitor of Maradi, but we are friends with Aaron, one of the volunteers there. He came over after Christmas and fell in love with the horses and the Zinderien bush! But then again, who won't?

Hey, talk to you more later!

Anonymous said...

When I first saw this post I thought for sure that you were going to show pictures of how much dust gets in the house after one of those storms. The flood is worse..what a mess!!!
Did you ever hear the song by Enya "Storms in Africa?" Steve loves it b/c of his experience with the storms there.

Love, JO