Sunday, 17 June 2007

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Yes, it’s the rainy season and sure enough, it knows how to rain in Guyana. There has been 2.4 times the normal rainfall for the May / June rains as they call them. This is the main rainy season. However, we have only had one day of floods and I think our Wellington Boots, or Long Boots as they call them here are warding it off. I thought it rained in Lancashire in the rainy season there from September to July but nothing like this. It will appear from nowhere, the only sign being a black cloud which suddenly appears and, oh yes, the sight of people running.

If you are not prepared, for example, on your bike and on the way to a school and your cape (ours donated by Peter and Angela) is in your basket, you have about 2 nana seconds to put it on. I’m quite good at it now but the first time was a scream. It was a good job that everyone else was so concerned about themselves that no-one saw me. Raindrops the size of water bombs shoot down straight ten thousand a time in a square foot. I pulled the cape out of its bag and struggled to pull it over my head – the helmet got in the way and it wouldn’t go up or down. The neck zip was closed and I only extricated myself by taking off the helmet. By that stage my head was as wet as if I had jumped in Darwen baths – all this whilst sitting on the bike trying to hold it upright between my then sodden legs and socks. I tried again and succeeded but where was the neck zip – oh, at the back!

Never mind, thinks I, but realize that I can’t put the hood up because I would be blinded. Took it off again and this time did it right. My boxers were beginning to feel decidedly soaked and I set off for the VSO office 200 yards away. I had to stop and walk the last fifty yards because the water mixed with the sun screen I had put on ten minutes earlier and cascaded over my eyebrows and into my eyes causing them to sting – sun screen, I ask you!!!! Arriving at the VSO office and undercover but not wanting to go in because I don’t think they would have enough mops to clear up after me; I waited until the rain eased. I set off for my school but, because it was still a little wet put the hood up having abandoned my helmet. It had about two pints of water in it and I showered myself again. C’est la vie! I arrived at my school soaking wet only to find that only 40 of the 260 children had turned up for the day – “BECAUSE OF DE RAIN”.

The weather here didn’t quite live up to the expectations of the Guyana Tourist Board Website. It was supposed to be wall to wall sunshie and blue skies all day long with intermittent very heavy rain,usually in the early evening, which clears up very rapidly. Well, the heat is certainly there all of the time. The skies are blue just about as much As in England and it is very frequently cloudy. The website that said there was no name for overcast is certainly wrong – it’s overcast for much of the time but still hot at the same time.

We are about to enter the hot season. It may go from 32C ish to 35 / 36C. We cope well with the latter and we’re sure a few more degrees will not make a lot of difference.