Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Downpour

The first big rainfall of the rainy season came today. The thunder was so strong it woke me up in the morning, and lightning at 8 a.m. - can you imagine? And I heard lots of sirens too...

A surprising number of people used umbrellas on the street, some wore shower caps or tied platic bags around their heads. Others used a towel or a newspaper to keep their heads dry. But most just used nothing at all, and walked around as normal.

The traffic calmed down. It was the first time I saw drivers in Dakar going at a reasonable pace and slowing for oncoming traffic. The bus had to take a detour because of flooded roads - it would go up one way, realize it couldn't get through, turn around and try a different route. I don't know what happens to the people on the original route waiting for the bus, but we picked up more people along the new route! (The bus driver of course, wipes his windshield with his hand in order to see)

Anyways, so the detour caused me to have no idea where we were (I only know specific routes and landmarks) so of course I missed my stop, had to get off the bus and walk for a good 20 minutes in the rain. Once I got close to the office - the whole street was flooded... literally, there was nowhere to go. The guy before me used some cement blocks that were in the midst of the puddles, in order to make it across... I got up onto one of them, stood there for about two minutes, and realized there was no way I would be able to hop from one to the other without falling off the blocks and into the water. So I chose to walk through the water instead. I awkwardly climbed down off the block, and wadded through the water, only to realize that a group of little boys who were watching me go through this whole process were getting a good laugh out of it !

Anyways, I'm glad I invested in the $100 MEC rain jacket... !


Still.Searching said...

Nicely described.. Hope you did not have fancy shoes on..

You asked who I was.. I am Still Searching .. why do you assume you know everyone reading your blog? You're on the internet, Heba.. so I could be anyone, anywhere .. That's the beauty of the Internet.. you pick your identity..

Heba Aly said...

I didn't assume! That's why I asked. If anonymity is your thing, that's fine by me!

Ryan said...

I think my favourite part about your many blogs is that they all play out like charming movies in my head. You must be a writer or something!

Still.Searching said...

I am still intrigued by your comment in your previous post. When the crowd started chanting "Toubab" and "Foreigner give us money", you thought it was "Funny".. Most other "single white"'s in a "sea of Black" would have been terrified? how is it you were not, even went as far as seeing it as funny? how does it feel to be so different and such a minority, specially surrounded by strangers?

Ghadeer said...

Hey super Heba,
I just googled your name and got lots of links and posts on Pulitzer Center. I heard one of your reports = ) your voice made me miss you more = (. I read also a couple of articles. Pulitzer is doing a good job advertising for your blog. They have submit the link in many forums. I am glad that I am learning about all the issues in Sudan. Thanks for making us involved and Rabena ma'aki ; )