Settling the Dust

Every October there is a rain that is called the “chisime luksha” rain. It’s the out-of-the -blue storm that stops the dust and cools us off. I love this rain, and it happened to be today.

It was foggy this morning, which is a bit odd for this time of year, but a sure sign that the humidity has rolled in. Then it got hot fast. By 9:45am, our thermometer told us it was 31C (88F). By 1:30pm, the car thermometer said 37C (98F). Oye. Then just after 2pm, one of the windiest downpours I’ve ever seen hit Lilongwe.

The trees were whipped around, debris and leaves flew everywhere in the air! I wanted to open all the windows because the wind was COLD, but there was too much rain.

Matt went to work pretty quickly. The last of our solar stands had been painted in the morning, so needed to be moved out of the rain ASAP. And the cars had windows cracked. By the time he got back inside, he was drenched!

It rained off and on for about 3 hours, sometimes hard, but it generally calmed down to a nice moderate rain. As we enjoyed the natural air conditioning, I started cleaning up the puddles and wet furniture on our porch. I smiled to think that, Lord willing, a couple months from now I will be drying out furniture and squeegeeing our porch floor on an almost daily basis as we go into the real rainy season. Today was just a taste, and for us, a pleasant, cool taste.

For others it wasn’t so pleasant. We’ve heard reports of tree limbs falling on cars, of 6 injured at Maula Prison where iron sheets tore off the roof, and of lots of power lines down. Our power is still out, putting this blackout at 17 hours and counting… just kidding it came on as I typed that! And, off again. Oh dear. We all know the rains are good, and so important for Malawi, but they come with their own set of dangers and concerns.

For today though, we will enjoy the relief from the heat, the joy of water, and the hope of green and food. And the sunset… God painted a masterpiece tonight, even the little corner we could see from our yard!

Kids and Markets

I love raising kids in Africa. Life is laid back and out in the open. People laugh and talk to one another. There is color, nature, beauty, and adventure. It’s truly a great place to raise fun, imaginative, resourceful kids. There are a few things here, though, that I’ve had to think more carefully about than I would if I were raising my kids in the States. One of those things is the market. Abigail has been to the market before, but not for quite a while, and that only because she was in tow with the grandparents or with Mom and Dad running errands. It can be hard to take kids to the market: you have to bargain for everything, watch where you’re going, watch for pickpockets, and keep a close eye on the kids. I don’t have that many eyes! But Abigail is growing up, so today, for the first time as a big kid of 7, she came to help me shop at the Old Bus Depot Market.

Our goal was fabric in the chitinje market. We were looking for new curtains for the project room, a valance for the kitchen, shower curtains, and some fabric to make bags for the girls’ ballet things.

We got busy and found all kinds of things! Some of them we needed, and some… for fun! Most of the fabric here is $1/yard (MWK1500 for 2 meters), so sometimes I pick up fabrics I like but have no purpose in mind for them. Some will go back to the States with visiting professors, some will become skirts for me and the girls. It all works out. Don’t talk to my husband about this. He has very different ideas about fabric hoarding/loving. 😬😁 He’s probably right, so for the sake of my sewing shelves and the love of my husband, I only go to the chitinje market 2-3 times a year. Abigail, I would guess, takes after me when it comes to loving fabric. Me with a bent toward the style of the early 80s. I guess I was 7 years old in the early 80s, so we are right on track.

It was a successful trip to the market. Fabric-wise, we found something for every project we had in mind, and only 2 pieces of “ooo, that will be great for something!” Abigail chatted with the ladies, befriended a one-legged chicken under the tables, and had a great time experiencing more of Africa. It was fun to adventure with her, and we are looking forward to lots more adventures together!