Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rainy Season Blues

I am getting pretty sick of the rainy season. It has been a rough one so far. Last year many farms lost their harvests due to drought; this year the farmers are losing again, only this time due to excessive rain. It has rained so much that the river actually changed course, overflowing its banks and taking over a dirt road as its new channel. Some families downstream have had to leave their houses for fear that they will be swept away in the night.

My yard is a complete swamp. My garden has drowned, and in its place a jungle has grown, practically overnight. Almost every other day I have to blaze a new trail to the latrine with my machete. I don’t even consider leaving the house without putting on rubber boots. And because there are so many places for mosquitoes to lay eggs, mosquito-borne diseases have been especially bad this year all over Nicaragua. Several of my neighbors have had fevers I’m convinced were dengue.

But the thing that is really making me hate the rainy season is that all of my clothes, my shoes, and even my bed smell like an old lady’s basement. I feel singularly helpless about the situation because on top of the excessive rains, we’ve had power outages. And when there’s no electricity, there’s no running water either, since our water system requires electricity. So ironically, we’re suffering both from too much and not enough water. Even if I could do the wash, there is a high probability that my stuff wouldn’t dry before it rains again, which would just start the mold cycle all over again. Just this once I would love to throw everything in a washing machine and then dry it in a dryer – even my pillows, my mattress, and my hiking boots, all of which are being taken over by mold.

I am grateful not to be among those who have lost their houses or their bean crops, of course; but I seem to forget every time I pick up a shirt and realize it’s too stinky to wear even though I’ve just washed it. Everyone says September and October are the rainiest months. We’ll see what they bring this year.

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