Mvua means "rain" in Kiswahili. And it started 2 weeks ago here in Dar. Last year when we arrived in the blistering heat of March, people kept telling us that the long rains were coming. "They are almost here!" But they came really late, actually. Almost May/early May if I recall correctly. And they didn't last that long.
But this year the rains came early, and with them some added perks and challenges in our daily life.
Challenge: biking is a little bit less safe for Kristoffer than it used to be, with all of the current mud and puddles.
Perk: the rain cools off our crazy heat...and since it rains most days for at least a little while, this is very helpful.
Challenge: the cooling off doesn't last too long and yesterday, for example, when it didn't rain where we live after 6 am, by midday it was insanely, insanely hot and humid.
Perk: it is great for Farmers and the country's agriculture. Obviously we remember how badly things go when the rains fail from our time in Kenya (which kept Kristoffer extremely busy at WFP).
Challenge: Mosquitos. Mosquitos. Mosquitos. And back to worrying about malaria at the first sign of someone feeling sick. I envision quite a few blood tests next month.
Perk: it is super fun to play in the rain or mud at school of you are, say, 2 or 4 years old.
Challenge: lots of laundry!
Perk: people seem less lethargic after the rain!
Challenge: potholes the size of kiddie swimming pools! Driving becomes a big like an obstacle course.
Perk: it is an actual season, so something different than just endless heat.
Challenge: lots of dampness and then in and out of air conditioning means that a lot of people get sick with coughs and cold. And who knows what else will fester as the season continues.
African rain is somehow different than any rain I have ever experienced before in my life. It doesn't rain buckets, but bathtubs. It doesn't rain cats and dogs, but elephants and rhinos. There aren't sheets of rain, but walls.
It is the loudest drum show I have ever heard. It is exciting and awesome, but also a little bit frightening too. It wakes me up in the night, and compels me to get out of bed to check on the kids because I know that if they were crying there is absolutely no chance that I could hear them.
Pretty much as long as I am not caught driving in it (so scary!) I am a fan of this rain of ours. We will just hope that it doesn't negatively impact our upcoming beach trip and safari with Rasmus, Jytte and the girls when they come from Denmark next week!