The views expressed herein are mine and not those of the Peace Corps.



Useful Acronyms

PC Peace Corps
ICT Information & Communications Technology
PCT Peace Corps Trainee (pre-swearing-in)
PCV Peace Corps Volunteer (post-swearing-in)
PST Pre-Service Training
CBT Community-Based Training

Msimu wa mvua

We’re sitting inside Mama Ismael’s booth at the market. The rain is solid but not devastating. I wouldn’t want to walk in it in my thin cotton shirt, but it wouldn’t drench me immediately.

She’s telling me about how she had strange dreams, how she overslept. She dreamt that thieves stole into her house and took her clothes (“‘My God,’ I thought, ‘They didn’t even leave me clothes for church!'”) and woke up at 6.45, if you can believe it. She still had to do her morning chores: fetch firewood, cook, clean. She didn’t get to work until 10. I don’t teach Fridays and I lazed in bed with the cats until 9.30. I keep my mouth shut and watch the rain.

“Wait until March,” Mama Ismael kept telling me. “Then the rains will really come.” I mocked her gently, asking if the rain knew what month it was, but when the first of March came the rain came with it, much to my surprise. For the first week the power cut out every day and I couldn’t teach about half my periods. The children called out my name as I walked by their classrooms. This week I only missed one period, a class I’d managed to teach last week, and one class actually applauded when I went into the classroom to teach. The power hasn’t cut out since Tuesday. It’s unclear what changed.

Last night I lay in bed, a cat on either side of me, and listened to the quiet rushing of the rain on the roof. I didn’t feel tired, but didn’t feel like doing anything either, a state that’s been more and more common lately. I closed my eyes, sang a sea song. The cats’ paws twitched against me as they killed dream-mice.


Comment from Chris
Time March 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

Beautiful images, as ever.

(Those dream-mice are crafty!)

Comment from david Digges La Touche
Time March 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm

We’re singing in the kitchen tonight, shanteys and songs. You’re not tired but don’t want to do anything…ah, Africa.

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