Under My Umbrella


Dry season is finally ending and I am thrilled! I have been waiting, not very patiently, for the hot and dusty dry season to be swept away by torrential rains and that day has finally come! Here are the main reasons why I have been looking forward to rainy season:

1) It has been hot and gross without rain

2) The farmers in the area suffer without rain for their crops

3) I have a new umbrella (courtesy of the fabulous Fowler family) that I have been dying to try out!

I got caught out and about in the rain the other day without my new umbrella and it was so very upsetting to be forced to use one of the nun’s boring umbrellas when my beautiful rainbow one was sitting on my desk, just waiting to be used. I was feeling a little sulky but then I remembered that there is good news. During rainy season it rains… a lot. So I will have ample opportunities over the next few months to whip out my enormous rainbow umbrella. The thought crossed my mind that this umbrella will probably not aid in my integration process, but when there is a 6’1 blonde girl wandering around rural Rwanda she isn’t going to really blend in with the crowd regardless of her choice to carry a flamboyant umbrella.

One of the good and bad things about rainy season is that it is colder at night. This is great because I sleep much better when it is cooler out but this is also bad because it is so much harder to get out of bed. Waking up at 6 am, snuggled deep into my comfy sleeping bag, it is very difficult for me to find the motivation to climb out from under the bug net to start my day. My level of productivity suffers greatly on the days when there is heavy rainfall. Last weekend I looked out the window at 8 am and it was pouring rain and so foggy that I couldn’t see the wall that is 10 feet from my door. This is a photo of the tree near my house that was barely visible most of the day.

To me, this type of weather was a sign that God was inviting me to climb back into bed and watch movies all day. So I did. Defying the wishes of God is always a serious matter but especially horrible when you live in a convent- I had no choice but to do as the signs told me to.

Here is a photo of us celebrating the start of rainy season!

Yes- I am wearing a red polo shirt under a Cornell volleyball shirt… I am classy like that.

 You may notice that there is another girl in this photo who is not a nun. She is a student from Belgium who has been writing a paper on physical therapy for young children in rural African communities.

Rain Update

I am typing this blog in the teacher’s room while it is pouring rain outside. My class started 5 minutes ago but the teachers have informed me that I must stay here until the rain stops because you are not allowed to teach if you are wet. When they told me this I laughed, but quickly realized by their shocked faces that they were serious. Good to know.

Rule of the day: you cannot teach when you are wet. My lesson for this last period wasn’t really all that fantastic so I accepted this news without argument. I will continue typing, listening to the rain and thunder while dreaming of my vanilla tea that I was forced to hastily abandon back at the convent in order to get to school before the rain.


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