A contribution to this week’s photo challenge on the theme of Chaos. Taken just over a year ago on the morning the heavy rains arrived just as people were heading of to work. The ensuing torrents of water turned roads into rivers and chaos reigned (and rained!).
So far we have not had a repeat – the rains though probably now started have been overnight, but they are getting heavier – it’s only a matter of time before chaos reigns again.
Finally it’s come to an end. After what seems for ever it’s stopped and we’re on our way to better times.
I am of course referring to the rains. Made so much longer and wetter by the El Niño effect.
The grass is turning yellower and the roads are getting dustier but I much prefer sun to rain.
Not that it has rained all the time but it has been a lot cloudier than we’ve been used to and a lot more unpredictable. So unpredictable that it’s been almost two weeks after the last rainfall before I am confident enough to make the tentative proposition that it’s over….. I think!
Today we have flown to Moshi in Northern Tanzania. We’ve been here before as part of our trip from Lake Victoria to Victoria Falls and back again last summer. On that occasion our three days in Moshi were set between two 12+ hour bus trips, this time it has been an hour flight from Mwanza.
We’re here at the start of our safari through the Serengeti and also to meet our visitors from the UK, returning with them to Mwanza for Christmas.
A bonus would be a sight of Kilimanjaro – the elusive mountain. Last summer we saw nothing of Kilimanjaro in our three days here. Although we had hoped for a view of the mountain from the air cloud cover made this impossible even at height.
Moshi is the Kiswahili word for smoke and the town is aptly named as it’s clouds shroud the town. El Niño hasn’t helped with a more intense rainy season is n 2015.
A colleague visited Moshi on this very day last year and saw this ….
Our view today is this ….
We are here for a couple of days so we hope that at some point the elusive mount will reveal itself.
Mwanza has changed in the last few days. The Christmas Holidays are upon us and with international schools having broken up last week the ex-pat exodus has begun.
Not all ‘Wazungu’ have gone of course, but many have jetted off to their homelands or else to explore foreign parts within and beyond Tanzania’s borders. Some local Tanzanians will travel too in the coming days as they visit family across Tanzania.
A few like us are staying put and like us are having visitors to stay. Soon we will welcome family to our Tanzanian home, two Mums Jetting Off from their homes to foreign parts (Mwanza). We’e looking forward to receiving our first house guests, though in actual fact we have secured accommodation in a vacant house next door.
Before they arrive here in Mwanza they will meet us in Moshi – we’re holding out for a view of Kilimanjaro- though this may be a vain hope beyond a glimpse from the aircraft flying in. So we too will be jetting off from a wet and rainy Mwanza, in hope of a dryer Moshi and a more leisurely return through the Serengeti in the days ahead. We are looking forward to visiting the animal park again and introducing it to our visitors, as we will Mwanza. Mostly we’re looking forward to the relaxing time and conversations you just don’t get with Skype.
Our house looks like the proverbial Chinese Laundry. Clothes hang from impromptu places in various stages of drying.
It’s rainy season and at some point each day we are going to get a thunderstorm or maybe two. When it’s dry it’s hot but there’s no guarantee how long it will last – it’s certainly not breezy here so the clothes rarely have a chance to reach their full desiccation before a downpour.
So it is we have to risk the out door lines hoping to reduce the number of damp items on each pass whilst an ever increasing backlog of clothes follow on behind.
We have taken to putting up a line under the roof of the verandah but this spoils the view and they drip onto the table.
No launderettes here in town to reduce the backlog no washer dryer (in fact no washer) in the house.
One good thing is that the rain, most days can be short-lived and soon returns to hot and humid (if not dry!).
The rainy season this year seems longer and wetter than 2014 – it should be on it’s way by Christmas unless El Ninyo is planning to mix things up a bit.
The rainy season is in full swing here in Mwanza with a downpour at some point every day at the moment. The once parched land is lush and green and plants are in full flower and birds in breeding mode.
On the borders of our garden all of a sudden mushrooms have appeared overnight – I doubt these are edible and certainly I’m not taking the risk.
The Kiswahili for mushroom is uyoga and many mushrooms is uyoga wengi.
Sadly it’s not ‘fungi wengi’ which would have been cool.
An excuse to include a clip from one of my favorite films. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
The rains are officially here – there is no doubt. This morning we had the most torrential downpour in Mwanza – beginning about 6am it continued unabated for many hours finally easing off at about 11am. In that time the drains quickly became blocked and the roads became rivers – it made for an interesting journey to work this morning as we bypassed abandoned vehicles and ploughed through rivers on our usual route.
At school the rain had caused a small landslide which had brought down a wall in the corner of the playing field – there was a lot of rain coming down.
Photos courtesy of a colleague.
Thankfully the afternoon brightened up to a sunny end to the day – returning home was a lot easier. The garden was alive with birdlife enjoying the evening rays.
Eastern Grey Plantain Eater
Spotted Morning Thrush
Spotted Morning Thrush
Female Red-billed Firefinch
Yellow-billed Black Kite in the sun
Northern Grey Headed Sparrow
Northern Grey Headed Sparrow
As is often the case here -even the wettest days has a lot of sunshine too!
The rainy season has definitely begun and although we’ve had some good weather we’ve had our fair share of showers too!
Our hired tent is sheltered under a tin roof and fitted with proper beds, we have a covered porch / verandah and the weather has remained warm. The kids’ tents are standard but come with bedding and are dry enough although one has transferred to a second tent under a thatched roof following some heavier rain yesterday.
We have been to adjacent beach every day and swam most days. Yesterday we had a new experience having gone down to the beach, when a thunderstorm hit with torrential rain. We stayed in throughout watching the water bubble as the droplets bounced on the lake’s surface. It was dramatic enough in the skies above but calm on the sheltered waters of the bay. We watched the many Cichlids darting about amongst the rocks and waited for the storm to pass – we were no wetter in the water as we would have been be on land.
The weather cleared to give sunny evening and a sunset viewed from one of the terraces here at Jakobsen’s Beach, where we had a BBQ.
Some mornings have been very lazy as the rain has lingered from the crack of dawn to mid-morning. Today Friday has been one such day and I write this beneath a small Banda just as the rain has subsided.
Other mornings I have been up with the lark (as I do when camping) exploring the site and listening to the exotic bird calls eminating from the thickets and trying to grab a photo or two. Down on the beach dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies (in many colours) have danced about on the sand in the sun.
We have ventured into Kigoma a couple of times to get provisions, but mainly (unusually for us here in Africa) we have stayed in one place and relaxed. Tomorrow we return on the long drive back to Mwanza. Reflecting back on the whole experience has been peaceful calm and very relaxing. I would certainly recommend Jakobsen’s Beach, if you’re ever in the vicinity.
It’s still green here amongst the dust – the occasional shower has helped in that respect, but day by day it remains hot and no significant rain has fallen in three months – save for one downpour. Every shower is eagerly anticipated, but it is short-lived and turns the hot air humid.
As the weeks pass, the ground gets ever dustier, the grass ever more parched, the trees and bushes droop ever more lowly to the ground.
I am a self-confessed lover of heat and dislike rain, yet I find myself craving that which I dislike. It would be nice to have some significant rain to cool the air, to dampen the dust and revive the plants. Even though it would herald the Long Rains (which get shorter with every passing day) it would be welcome.
There may be signs it’s on it’s way as temperatures have dropped back to a mere 27°C from the mid-30s (one report records 38°C)of last week. The next week is reportedly more showery and cooler. With even these temperatures beating anything a good summers day in the UK could produce we.’re not talking cold snap here just mild relief and a little less sweat.
For now we await the Long Rains – I’m sure I’ll soon be complaining – we Brits are never satisfied with the weather for long!
This morning we had a lot of rain. We were woken by an enormous thunder clap and the rain fell in torrents for an hour or so.
The resultant rains left an aftermath on the roads and paths. The roads and paths here are mainly mud and sand so they turn into rivers washing away the surface and forming ridges.
There’s a storm raging outside and the rainy season may be upon us already if not soon. The rainy season is not a non- stop downpour but is a general tendency to more of the wet stuff. In fact the weather is quite hot and sunny in the rainy season – between the showers.
I thought I would share some of my rain themed songs from my iPod in honour of the deluges which will soon be upon us. Continue reading →
It’s just gone 6am and there is a storm raging outside – even if I wanted to I couldn’t sleep. Apparently the rain comes early here. The windows of our house are slatted and permanently open as (despite what long term expats and nationals say) it is still hot here. So the noises and smells are turned up to full volume. Outside the lightning flashes and the thunder crahes. Petrichor fills the air (you can learn something from watching Doctor Who – it’s the scent after rain has fallen on dry earth). It’s not yet light but for now the power remains on. Whether the rains stop in time for the walk to work or whether we’ll cram into a car (thanks to kind colleagues) remains to be seen. The other day the rains brought torrents which washed away some of the roads and brought some flooding. It brought down a tree at work. Yesterday in contrast was dry and sunny (and hot) so it’s not all rain in the rainy season!
We are going on a camping trip with the school borders this weekend – so just hoping the weather improves a little in the next two days – though rainy season has definitely arrived.
Dust gets everywhere. A thin film coating every surface. As a teacher of ICT it has quickly become apparent that every item is dusty – who knows what is going on inside the machines?
Almost every path; every road is dust the walk to school and back leaves you covered. It’s dry here and the rain, when it comes, evaporates quickly. They do water some paths but dust pervades.
Soon the rains will come and dust will turn to mud. I’m not sure which I prefer less? Probably the mud!
It’s probably safe to say that we’re not going to get any snow!
Today has been a lovely day. I grabbed some photos of the Wisteria and Ceonothus close up this morning before work. I will miss this annual combo.
The forecast for the week ahead courtesy of Accuweather is predicting warmer temperatures over the next week – so Spring is firmly entrenched.
We never really had a winter. Not a single snowflake fell in this part of the world – let alone settled on the ground. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I love the first snow of winter – even though it becomes tiresome after a few days as it turns to slush and / or black ice. It’s quite nice to have the odd Snow Day too ;-).
This year winter was having none of it. True we had some frosts but I can count on one hand the number of days I had to scrape the ice off the car. In the end we had months and months of rain with some high winds on occasions.
Given this will have been our last UK winter for a few years it was a little disappointing. Other than the top of Kilimanjaro, I imagine I won’t see snow for a few years :-(. So the last Snow as in April 2013.
Having said that – now I’ll probably wake up to 6 inches of the white stuff in June – stranger things have happened. 😀
The photos below were taken between 2010 and 2013.
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