This morning I tried walking to work to see how long it would take. Based on my walk on Sunday I thought it would be 40 minutes. I quite misjudged the distance and it took an hour! Luckily it was 7 am and was still quite cool. I was only mildly sweaty by the time I got to the office.
In the morning Salome and I went to MRCZ and finally got all of our consent forms and data collection sheets approved!! That means we can officially enroll patients and begin our study. That only took a year of paperwork; quite fast by Zim standards.
In the afternoon we went around town again, purchasing supplies and getting ready for the clinic on Wednesday. It was so hot!! I drank 1.5 liters of water (not including what I had at breakfast), ran out at 3 pm and was still thirsty. The two bottles that I had frozen the night before were completely melted by 11 am. And our office doesn’t have a fan yet, let alone air conditioning.
The clouds built up in the afternoon and just as we were about to leave work, the heavens opened up and it rained! The rain brought fresh, cool air and the temperature dropped rapidly but no one had an umbrella and many people got very wet. Salome was extremely nice and drove me home, which is completely out of her way, so that I didn’t get soaked waiting for the bus. She says sometimes the Combi drivers (that’s the minibuses here; known as matatus in Kenya or dala dalas in Zanzibar) will sometimes close their doors when it’s raining and not let anyone in, just to see them get wet. I don’t know if it’s true, but that seems very cruel.
The other thing about the rain is that it’s not just rain: it’s a thunderstorm. And the thunder and lightning is big! The flashes light up the sky and what sounds like gun shots echo in the near distance. Living in the Bay Area I’d forgotten what a thunderstorm was like and I was very glad to be indoors.
When I got home, the power was out. At first I thought it was because of the rain, but Mr. Morales said it had been out for most of the day. He also told me that this was the first time the power was out for two weeks. That statement seemed quite ominous. The most unfortunately thing about the power being off is that the water pump doesn’t work and there’s no water pressure to take a shower or brush your teeth. I was feeling gross from the sunscreen and sweat but couldn’t do anything about it. I ate a cold dinner and read by headlamp until the power came back on at 8:30. I took a great shower then read some more before bed.
I’ve read 4 books since leaving home now and I can highly recommend “Mercury Falls” by Robert Kroese. If you like Douglass Adams, you’ll love this one.