And I am partially to blame.
How you might ask? Well, the week started off hot and very dry. While we are still in the rainy season we haven’t received much rain at all. With the days becoming noticeably shorter and cooler weather early in the mornings hinting at the onset of fall the end of rainy season is in sight.
Unfortunately, many parts of Botswana are still experience drought like conditions. Rivers are low or non-existent. The water in the Gaborone Dam is also low. Rain is desperately needed before fall comes here in Botswana.
So never one to sit back and be in active, I decided to take matters into my own hands this week. Part of my daily ritual with Tabuche is serious discussion about the weather. And early in the week we both noted how dry and parched everything appeared. On a couple of past occasions I have teased him that I would do a rain dance to encourage Mother Nature to open up the heavens.
It is no secret that I love to dance with or without music. I have been known to break out into spontaneous dance pretty much every where you can imagine especially if I hear music with a good beat. Africa is a continent full of music with good beats so I am pretty much tempted to dance all of the time. So developing a rain dance really was no issue for me.
With Tabuche’s encouragement I set out to do exactly that. Following a particularly hot day on Tuesday, a dunk in the pool to cool off and a weather forecast that held no sign of rain I took matters into my own hands. Having worked in politics for 20 some years and being involved in political campaigns for politicians at all levels, the term “Rain Maker” actually held a completely different meaning for me. “Rain making” in politics is a science, skill and definitely an expertise. So applying the same logic to encouraging Mother Nature made sense to me.
All of the locals here talk about the fact that in order for it to rain it must be hot, the clouds must be coming in from the right direction and that they have to look a certain way. Tabuche and Jetske are cloud experts who almost always accurately predict whether the looming clouds over head are indeed rain clouds.
Defying all of their logic and knowledge, I let the music inspire me and sent up my silent plea for rain. Well, as luck would have it contrary to weather predictions we actually experienced a small shower that night. The following morning a grinning Tabuche congratulated me on my ability to generate the shower and encouraged me to keep dancing.
Not a difficult task for me so I really threw myself into on Thursday and lo and behold, that afternoon as all of Gaborone was suffering through power outage (load shedding) that dragged on for almost 10 hours, the sky filled with the sound of thunder rumbling. Unlike Canada, where the thunder and lightening are quickly followed by downpours of rain, here in Botswana the thunder and lightening can continue for hours before any rain makes its appearance. At about 9 pm as the power was making a come back here, the sky finally opened up and throughout the night it showered off and on.
Feeling really cocky the next morning I was resoundingly told by Peter and Jetske that I actually needed to dance faster as my efforts still weren’t producing the quantity of rain required. Tabuche, of course, was far more supportive of my efforts. His response was that now I had proven rain making abilities, I needed to keep it up! Talk about pressure.
So Friday afternoon as consuming way too much lunch and needing to burn some energy Lawrence and Masego at the office encouraged me to dance with Mother Nature again…and down came the rain.
Now I am just trying to decide how I can market my new talent. I wonder who would pay me to do my “rain dance”?