land of two seasons

the first rains after the dry season

This time around I was here in September, in time to see the first timid rains of the rainy season. We only have two seasons in Congo, since we’re in a tropical climate. A rainy season roughly from September-July and a dry season from July to September, give or take a few weeks on either end. While we’re at it, the sun rises and sets pretty much around 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM every day, give or take a half-hour here or there. Some people and websites call the weather and daylight hours “enervating”, but I grew up with the metronomic regularity and quite like it. I find it comforting not to have to mess with daylight savings time which I am convinced no one really understands anyway.

The rain is one of my favorite things about this place. It’s a cleansing, cathartic rain. It’s like a good yell.

There’s a whole sub-culture around the rain, as well. If there’s a particularly vicious rainfall, you can expect people to either not show up at work or leave early, meetings to not take place. The rain is a valid, though not serious excuse. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Delaware at the age of 18 and realized that Americans went to work even when it snowed…


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