I sat outside under a banana tree with Neto for a few hours and collected money off of delinquent parents. I shot off early on to get the news paper and later to get us some sodas. We sat back amongst the shrubs and used a table that was too short. Neto’s solution was to take a child’s chair, but I opted for the big boy brand. I did my best to communicate in broken Swahili, but was far more successful at saying ‘sawa sawa’ (ok ok) and then waiting for Neto to help. I bothered some of the kids because they are the easiest to get along with because their ability to speak Swahili is not too much better than mine. Playing is a simple language, based on thousands of years of well thought research and I am proud be a master linguist. Fortunately, we cleaned up right as the downpour began. Had we been slower, we would have had to attempt to the leaves from the banana tree to keep all the important papers dry. It was not to be.
While inside, I played with Gracious. He would throw the soccer ball and I would kick it back. He tossed it over to Neto and I stole it away but managed to kick the ball outside while attempting my best Ronaldo impression. Neto told Gracious to run out and get it before it got too wet. Gracious ran to the edge of the doorway, just before the stone ramp extends out to the grass and the rain. He looked up and saw the water dripping quickly from the roof and took a few kid running steps, you know where a kid runs and his legs move as fast as humanly possible and he does not even achieve what one would call a jog compared to his walking speed, and retreated once one of them hit him on the head. With more reassurance from Neto, Gracious ventured out in a hesitant run. To keep himself from getting wet, he clasped his two tiny hands on the top of his head. With a few adjustments on the way to keep his big head dry, he made it to the ball with a major dilemma. If he picked it up, his head would get wet due to the fact that he would require a pair of hands to hold it. Neto saw the hesitation and told him to pick it up. Despair fell over him as he reached down to get the ball and droplets pelted his once dry head. He rushed in with unhappy cries until making it inside where the cries turned into laughter.
People here are terrified of the rain. All stops when it rains. I will give them the fact that when it rains it does not kid around. Yes, there are normal showers, but once a day we get a heavy pounding. I am talking about the pull over the car to the side of the road rain. You do not want to be outside when this happens, and you do not want to be in need of a place to be. However, people here are terrified even of a light rain. Rain can stop this town faster than any sort of natural occurance in the US. The rain comes quickly and life stops. They hate the rain when it is here and lament for its passing when it is not. The rain rules a love-hate relationship with the people of Kenya and it is amusing to watch.