Apr 19, 2010

I get smote by Thor

I'm on Skype when the call comes from outside: "Thabo! Pula e tla!" (The rain is coming--Thabo is my Setswana name.) I take a quick break and get my clothes down off the line. Two hours previously the sky had been completely clear, but now there are some moderately threatening clouds rolling in. I go back inside, close my screen door, and unplug my electronics.

At this point I feel sand blowing on my skin, and I realize the wind has come up. It's blowing so hard I can barely get the door closed, and I hear heavy things smashing around outside. During the five seconds the door was open about a half-inch of dirt has collected in my bucket bath. I worry my roof is about to blow off, but then the rain comes, as hard as I have ever felt it. The rain is pouring in unbroken streams to the floor in about six places. I distribute some buckets and pans around to catch some of the mess.

Then: the hail. It is utterly deafening under the tin roof. The hail is bouncing through the hundreds of gaps between the sheets, but at first all I can do is hold my hands over my ears. I notice a new stream of water has started right directly over my computer's keyboard. As I had unplugged it but not shut it down, I jerk the battery and throw it on my bed, about the only place that isn't getting drenched.

Here you can see a barrel that blew against my door and bits of my host family's house.  
The storm probably lasted twenty minutes at most, but it did more damage than any other thus far. My roof was damaged (again), and several were outright torn off throughout the village. Several of the pit toilets at my school were also torn apart:

Not as much privacy as originally advertised.
Luckily, I let my computer dry overnight and today and it seems to be working fine. I'm not sure what to do about this damn roof, but for now I'm going at it with some more caulk.

2 comments:

  1. Yay! The computer still lives :)

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  2. Yeah, thank goodness. It's not as sprightly as it once was, but the old girl is still tottering along. Not as ancient and decrepit as yours, though!

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