Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

The dry season begins in early December, where “dry” in this case refers to the minimal rain, rather than any lessening of the humidity, or at least that has been our experience so far.  During our usual evening activities of sitting on the veranda typing on our laptops while waiting for Lisa to cook dinner, lightning was flashing in the distance.  I was reminded of the heat lightning that occurs in the summertime in North Carolina, where the humidity becomes so oppressive that rain would be a blessing but never happens.  But while we were eating dinner, Lisa remarked that it would rain tonight.  With the gift that Akmed has exhibited for weather prediction, I tend to take the locals at their word when it comes to Ghanaian weather patterns. 

A light drizzle started during dinner.  I put down my fork and ran out to the back walk to take my laundry off the clothes line, leaving it heaped in a pile on the china cabinet.  I also grabbed my laptop off the table on the veranda and left it on the coffee table in the living room.  I’m very lucky I did that.

Not too much later, the skies opened up like someone had turned on a fire hose full blast.  Sheets of rain came crashing down on us.  Lightning flashed, followed by an earth-shaking thunderclap only a split second later.  We were standing on the veranda with Handel’s “Messiah” blasting through the speakers connected to Markus’ iPod.  Halfway through a “Hallelujah”, the power cut out.  Had I been directing a movie, I couldn’t have timed it better.  We all flooded inside the living.

Then the water came flooding after us under the living room door as we ran to close all the windows in the house.  Ellie began mopping up the water as Lisa got down on her knees and only half-jokingly started praying for our souls.  I used the time to hang up my clothing on the makeshift clothesline strung up across my room.

It’s hard for me to believe that almost exactly a year has passed since the day that LJ, Becky and I were in her apartment watching the rain come pouring down outside her apartment window in Guam.  That time, we were supposed to go play a round of golf the next day, but the remnants of a tropical storm botched up those plans.  This year, I’m in the midst of teaching a 4-day workshop on basic ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for the head teachers of the fifteen junior high schools in the MCI program.  With our ongoing struggles with the Ghana electric company even when there’s no rain, I was not feeling very confident about having power at the school tomorrow. 

And then the lights came back on at our house, less than an hour after they went off.  I think I’ll consider it a Christmas miracle—and hope the miracle last through tomorrow for our last day of the workshop.

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