06 February 2015

Mipatrapatraka.

Verb: To fall in heavy drops.

It’s been raining a lot. You could use an Ameri-gasy expression and say it’s raining saka sy alika (cats and dogs). Everyday.

Storm clouds moving over the hills south of Tana.
I love the rain. The strength and beauty of water pouring from the sky. How seemingly insignificant drops can work together to fill entire rain barrels. I love falling asleep to the sound of rain on the metal roof two stories above my head. I love the smell of the red orange dirt as dark clouds fill the horizon. I love the vibrancy of the green plants all around me, made possible by this life giving water. I don’t like umbrellas. I don’t even own one. I love the feeling of rain falling on my skin (or raincoat) as I walk home, humming songs like "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" and "Grace Like Rain".

A chameleon braving the storm on our fence.
But this year has taught me that there is a lot of privilege behind my love of the rain. Because I have a warm house on high ground to return to after being caught outside in a downpour. I have a waterproof raincoat with a hood and shoes that are designed for creek walking. As much as I enjoy walking in the rain, I always have enough money in my pocket to take a bus if needed. The roof on my house doesn’t leak. We have an awning over our outdoor charcoal stove so we have a hot meal for dinner no matter the condition outside. If the weather is really inclement, I have the option to call my site supervisor and tell him I can’t teach today, without worrying if I will have enough money to eat dinner. I have a suitcase full of dry and mostly clean (still working on that hand washing thing) clothes to change into. Even though the rain has caused an increase in produce prices, I am not hungry.


The rain is falling in heavy drops on a lot of people. With the recent rain here in Tana and cyclone on the west coast of the island, I just wanted to offer a prayer of solidarity for those here in Madagascar and around the world who are disproportionately affected by natural disaster:

I pray for those who have lost homes or been evacuated due to flooding or high winds. 
I pray for those without housing to protect them from the elements, leaving them vulnerable.
I pray for those who are hungry and cold, water-logged and weary. 
I pray for those who work through the rain in order to provide for themselves and their families. 
I pray for those who have lost loved ones as a result of the storms. 
I pray that you feel God’s presence beside you, even when the heavens pour down all around you. Amen. 

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