Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Kisumu weather

In the early mornings, the lake is hazy and it’s almost cool. Then the heat begins to build. By afternoon, I’m limp and thirsty, the lake is asparkle and I can see hippos swimming in the shallows from my desk.

As a result of the climate, just about everyone is a bit ripe. Obviously I am the exception to this rule and remain daisy fresh at all times (by showering two to four times daily). When my kids stroll into the classroom after PE, it’s all I can do to refrain from holding my nose. Instead, I swiftly open all doors and windows and give the poor little stinkers a strained smile.

It rains every afternoon, cooling the air and soaking the earth. One evening, it stormed so fiercely that it flooded the floor in every room. The lights flickered and died. We ran through the house shutting windows, even as the wind tore the screens out of our hands and slammed them wildly. I’ve never seen anything like the lightning that night. You could have sworn it was daylight, a brief, ghastly daylight, so bright the papaya tree in the window leapt out at us, leaves like knives. We lay on the sofas and watched the storm break, praying no fisherman was caught out on the water.

The sun sets over the lake each night, and each night the sunset is different. Some nights violent and deadly, some riotous, some ethereal. Gold, and purple, and crimson, the colours of royalty. There are evenings when the sky is soft as velvet, soft as fingertips, tangible and eternal. There are evenings when the light slits the sky, sharp as scalpels, tracing bright slashes through the clouds and tossing rays into the water.

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