Dry Season vs. Rainy Season

Dry Season Rainy Season
Pros
  • Fewer insects
  • Clothes dry quickly
  • A permanent spray tan can have its perks, especially if you’re usually pasty white like me
  • WATER
  • Plants grow
  • Cooler temperatures
  • Windows down when driving
  • It’s socially acceptable to stay in my house when it’s raining
  • Humidity is good for the skin (I think?)
Cons
  • NO WATER
  • DUST. SO MUCH DUST.
  • Dusty car rides, sometimes involving hyperventilation
  • Constantly dirty
  • Dry skin
  • Cannot schedule anything
  • Trying to explain the U.S.’s four seasons to a Cameroonian
  • Less sunshine
  • Humidity
  • Clothes take forever to dry
  • Impassable roads (i.e., MUD)
  • Insects!
  • Hail storms
  • Unstable cell phone network during storms
  • Cannot schedule anything
  • Trying to explain the U.S.’s four seasons to a Cameroonian

This morning it rained. It doesn’t usually rain in the morning, but I was thankful for it. I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep.

When I arrived in Cameroon, rainy season was at its peak. During my first three months at post, between November and March, I learned how to live during the dry season. Now it’s back to rainy season, so I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for each season. Note that I listed “WATER” as a pro during the rainy season. Unfortunately, this is only in the form of rain water. I have not had running water since January. There is some public water pipe problem that is too complicated for me to understand (or I just can’t be bothered to try), so I will not have running water until that problem is resolved. Until then, I must continue to collect rain water, to filter to drink and to use for dishwashing, laundry, and flushing my toilet. Collecting rain water, an idea that mortified me when I first read about it in another PCV’s account, has now become a fact of life. Welcome to Africa.

Not only is it rainy season, but it’s also the (summer) holiday between school terms AND Ramadan. No one can be bothered to do anything right now, except maybe play football. They’ll do that rain or shine. I sat at my friend’s house a few weeks ago, waiting for the rain to lessen because I had forgotten my umbrella. When I became tired of small talk, I got up and said I wanted to head home and make dinner. “But it’s raining!” She lent me her umbrella and I left. So many people have umbrellas but are still terrified to go out in the rain. I’m still trying to understand it. Laziness, maybe? I guess that makes me lazy, too, sometimes. Or I just know that no one else will show up to work early when there’s rain, so why should I bother doing so? Those who don’t own umbrellas tell me they don’t have money (yet they have five children), and so they show up more than an hour late to meetings because “there was too much rain!” Priorities.

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