Desperate for Rain

umbrellaFrom: TUBOB: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps


The Gambia was desperate for rain. Flashes of heat lightning and thunderclaps teased us with promises, but other than a few scattered raindrops, no real rain. Even Africans complained of the heat and the thirsty crop’s need for rain.

Our Peace Corps friend Nathaniel invited his colleague Norman to Basse for a work related meeting and invited us to join them for dinner afterward at Jobot’s All Necessary Foods. The walk into Basse was especially humid, hot and sticky. I could almost feel rain in the air.

I grumbled to Bruce. “I couldn’t feel any wetter if it actually rained.”

He agreed. “I’ll bet before the end of this evening, we’ll have rain.”

It couldn’t be too soon for us. We had our usual great dinner at Jobot’s, making a big effort to ignore the heat. We headed over to Pa Peacock’s White House Fuladu East Bar for a cold drink. We’d been there for only a few minutes when it finally came, a few tentative drops, and then a deluge.

Bruce and I stepped outside and stood in the rain, laughing and getting soaked to the skin.

Most Gambians don’t like to get wet and will take great steps to avoid it. Nathaniel and Norman stood in the doorway watching us, amused. An African fellow watched with them and said to Nathaniel, “What’s wrong with those people?”

“They’re from Seattle,” Nathaniel replied.