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Last Friday had me all dressed up, with no where to go. Yet again. A couple of friends will be leaving soon to go abroad for their Masters and I’m in the process of saying my goodbyes. So I made an appointment with one of them for 3 pm, then set about doing my work. Only to have the sky start darkening in worrying degrees. Rain. Again! I managed to get ready and leave the house before it could start, but I hadn’t got very far when it had me scurrying back to the safety of my house.

There was a time when I had no patience for rain and how it just ruins all plans, making one a prisoner wherever they happen to be when the skies open. Well, two incidents – one after the other – changed that. We went without any rain for about a month. Now in this part of the country, that’s unheard of. The heat was unbearable, and the dust everywhere quite something else! It lay in cakes on everything from roof tops to furniture, and had everyone sneezing. That was January, but even during the dry season rain is always expected now and then. It makes a number of Kampala’s roads and streets un-usable but atleast the dust settles, and the heat gives everyone a much needed break. To say nothing for its much needed use in plant growth, et cetera. Plus I had grown quite tired of the amount of dusting I had to do in my house everyday, let alone having to scrub the balcony over and over!

Incident number 2 happened far away from home. I left for India and it happened to be summer when I got there. Now you haven’t experienced heat, perspiration and discomfort until you’ve experienced an Indian summer! To say that it was hot is like saying the Arctic circle has a mildly cool climate. I was pretty sure the sun built its house, and had all its daughters in India. I did not see the rain for very close to four months in the state I visited, till 3rd June when the skies let loose and it rained cats, dogs, monkeys, and all other small mammals that could possibly rain. I was on my way to church because it happened to be Martyr’s day and I wondered if that had anything to do with it. I had been assured I wouldn’t see any rain the entire summer and I simply couldn’t believe it. I dared not. I was thinking what? Not a drop? In a whole quarter of a year? How do they survive here! And I looked forward to the day it would rain with more than all my heart.

You’re probably thinking she must be mad, it’s just rain! Well, you would be forgiven for thinking so. But hold that thought until you’ve experienced an Indian summer, and have to spend the day time of your weekend hibernating away somewhere indoors, waiting till the sun can go down. When the first drops fell, It was such a thrilling feeling. Yes, thrilling. Yeah, me too, I never thought rain could make me feel that way. I even took some pictures and a video, just to capture those very first drops. In my defense at this slightly crazed reaction allow me to say I was very, very homesick.

Looking back though, I now remember how we all looked forward to the rain that very dry January that was Incident 1. Every now and then a friend on facebook would report something like ‘It’s about to rain over here. Yay!’ Only to have the same friend later report ‘Oh, well it didn’t rain afterall’ or have someone else comment on the post to say ‘Where’s that rain you were talking about, I’m in the same place and ther isn’t a drop of rain’. Happened to me once, too. Everyone was in the mood for a down-pour, and the joy when it finally came!

So, believe me when I say I have a new respect for rain and all it’s incoveniences. So when I’m all dressed up, and just stepped out of the door to be on my merry way, only to have a sudden down-pour send me running back to the shelter of my house like it did on Friday, I do so with calm and not a single unkind word to the rain. I take shelter and wait for it to finish it’s work here and be on it’s merry way to bless some other folks then set out on my own merry way. I respect it. I can actually say I love it. Enough not to complain anymore that I only wished it rained only late in the night to avoid upsetting anyone’s plans.

I only worry when it comes round when I’m wearing a sensitive pair of shoes that will need extra looking after (and hence cash) after the rain, and when it finds me without any warming gear. I also feel for the landslide victims everytime it rains in torrents. I just wish they would allow to be resettled elsewhere away from the mountains for the sake of their own lives! Well, other than all that I’m friends with the rain. Even when it has me all dolled up with nowhere to go. Someone should really get that set of wheels real soon!

PS:The Eclectic LadyBird is happy to report she’s since got that set of wheels, thank God!