April Showers

It’s raining. The first rain Conakry has had since Octoberish, and I am so happy to see it.

Those of you who are more familiar with the traditional four-season cycle should know that Guinea has two seasons: wet and dry. In the wet season it rains really really hard for two to three hours every single day. In the dry season it doesn’t rain at all, ever. They both last about six months, and by the end of each you are thoroughly sick of it and can’t wait for the other one to start.

I arrived in Conakry early on in the wet season, and by September I had had enough of vaulting into Land Cruisers (in skirts and heels, no less) to avoid the rushing floodwaters in the street and was fed up with everything being covered in mud and just feeling kind of clammy all the time. I longed for the better travel conditions and more reliable sunny swimming pool time the dry season would bring.

And indeed, those things made me very happy for the first couple of months of the dry season. But I soon got frustrated with dry skin, dry grass, huge clouds of red dust getting all over everything, and the sheer monotony of endless sunshine. Several times over the last couple of weeks I’ve thought I heard rain on the roof and dashed to the window, only to find that it was just the air conditioner and wishful thinking.

But today it rained for real. Not for long, only a few minutes. Not long enough to get rid of the dust and make the trees look green instead of a dull dusty brown, but I know it’s coming. Soon I’ll be reveling in the lushness of the foliage and how clean everything looks with all the dust and at least some of the trash washed away. And then I’ll be sick of it again and pining for the simple pleasures of a ceaselessly sunny day. C’est la vie.