|Those clouds contained rain!|
For all those in Australia who remember the McCain ad: ‘Marg, Marg, the rains are ‘ere!’ – that might give you a general appreciation of my excitement levels around the time the rains began.
Towards the end of the season, Uganda became a dry and barren land. Everything was covered in rich, red dust and the air was thick and hot (emphasis on the HOT). I enjoy the heat but when there is no water to jump into within a 120km radius, the enjoyment seems to just evaporate away (… get it?).
It was the 24th of March, the day the rains returned. I remember because it was the greatest day in history, and because I won a bet. Early in March, Florence (Love Mercy’s agriculturalist) and I had been discussing the weather and the likelihood of the rains coming early. We made an executive decision that they would not be coming any time soon and decided to amuse ourselves while we waited by guessing the exact date on which they would return. Florence said 18 March, my guess was the 25th. On the evening of the 24th, we had our first down pour and oh goodness, how happy it made me! I ran outside to watch as the thunder clapped around us and the lightening shot through the sky at all different angles.
Thunderstorms over here are electric, they’re so colourful and bright. The electricity in the air is visible – and I mean that literally. One afternoon, my hair started lifting towards the sky and stood straight up on end. It was such a strange and slightly unsettling experience but one I will never, ever forget.
Each time the rain begins, people scatter like ants, back to shelter and safety… all except me that is. Whether it’s because I can finally cool my body temperature below 40,000C, or I’m just a little crazy as most seem to suspect, I enjoy playing in the rain much to the horror of most the locals. There is just so much joy in dancing under a dark sky when you are completely soaked through; something my mother taught me when I was very young.
The beginning of the rains not only brought relief from the constant, extreme heat but also meant it’s time to plant – my favourite part of the year! On the 8th of April, Love Mercy distributed seeds to over 400 women in our Cents for Seeds program in Barr Village. Each woman received 20kgs of beans to be planted and harvested. At the end of the season, the woman will return the principal and keep the remaining seeds to eat, sell or store. Her loan is then passed onto another, meaning the cycle of poverty is broken over and over. On the day of distribution, I got to laugh, dance and sing with some of the women we have worked with for almost five years. Their joy and excitement is contagious and I left with my heart full. It is beautiful to see first hand the impact such a simple project is having on an entire community.
The rain has now been falling for three weeks and I am happy to say that the current climate has made for more pleasant days and a far more pleasant me. Thank you to all those who joined me in prayer, our God is good and He provides all we need. For now, continue to pray that the rains stay and the crops grow and together, let’s believe in faith that we will see the best harvest yet in 2015.