Thursday, October 28, 2010

Going Green

Well the rains have broken- not convincingly for sure, but anything that takes the edge off the relentless heat at this time of the year, is most welcome. The onset of the rain changes the sound of Africa, the cicadas and birds during the day and the frogs and crickets at night, give summer, and the rains, their own unique symphony that is overlaid, it seems, by the sound of the bush going green in front of your eyes. These days are punctuated by the odd crescendo of a full blown thunder storm and an African thunder storm is quite a thing to witness! Both their suddenness and violence is breathtaking  and the earth seems to dance and resonate in every dimension as the thunder shakes you to the core of your sole and the lightening makes the dogs run for cover and then. In the aftermath- the smell after the rain- well, that's beyond my power to describe but rest assured, it is not something you will ever forget!

The rains are a time of renewal and bring the promise of new life. There is a mother warthog that lives in the culvert just outside our gate- for three years she has raised successive litters of piglets and yesterday she paraded this years wobbly newcomers. They are sure to keep us entertained as they cavort outside the gate to the immense frustration of the dogs. It almost seems as if they take pleasure in driving the whole pack into an absolute frenzy as they amble sedately along the fence, so close the dogs can almost taste them. Of course an irate warthog mother is more than a match for even a pack of dogs like ours, but so long as the dogs don't need to make good on their promise and are safe within the fence, their muzzles continue to write checks their bodies can't cash- and we will be royalty entertained.

Speaking of entertainment, we go this weekend to a Guy Fawkes evening in Livingstone ,Zambia which is hosted by the school the kids go to. I missed the one last year because I was away on safari, but I am determined not to miss it this year. There is a large, mainly British, ex-pat community in Livingstone and  they have that touching habit of hanging onto what is dear to them from "home". It's something we all grew up with here- Guy Fawkes, horse chestnuts and Santa Clause in 40 degree heat while we all send each other Christmas cards decorated with holly and snow! The evening promises to provide some lively entertainment  if last year is anything to go by. Back in England at this time of year you can apparently set off fireworks with impunity but last year, the organizers discovered, that here in Africa, things are a little different. It turns out that you can set a sizable portion of Africa on fire with just one, poorly aimed rocket! Thank God for the Aussie and the South Africa who had had the presence of mind to bring a water cart or the whole of Chief Mukuni's homeland would have been burnt to the ground.  The following morning the smoldering remains of the Guy looked suspiciously like some sort of Witchcraft, to the locals who summoned the local constabulary and there was much cross cultural explaining to be done all round. Sounds like jolly good fun and I wouldn't miss it for anything.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, the smell of the wet soil. I think one can actually start to smell it when it is about 10 minutes away. I usually do. The wind says advertises it.

    Why don't they exchange the holly for the num-num (or a potato-bush) and the snow for an ice-cream cone? I ever wondered. Or are all those cards imported?

    Sean

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