We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Streams in the Desert

We've been here a little better than four years now, and this is the second time we've seen enough rain to measure. In America, rain is considered a good thing. Here, well, it's a little different. This past Thursday was rainy-looking all day. It showered a little in the morning, and just stayed cloudy and damp all day.
Then, about 6:00, we started seeing lightning in the sky. Before we knew it, the wind was howling, and the rain was gushing and we even saw some hail! It made us a little nervous when we heard the hail tapping on the windows. It made the little ones more than a little nervous!
Lee Anna's rain gauge had over an inch of rain in it Friday morning. Of course, that's on the edge of our balcony, under the edge of someone else's balcony, but it had an inch of water in it from somewhere.
The bedrooms in our house each have glass doors to the small balconies, but we discovered that they're not really water-tight. We rolled up some towels next to each door and held back the deluge.
These street pictures were taken the next day, probably 18 hours after the rain had stopped. When you only have water in the roads once or twice a decade, it's not really worth investing millions of dollars in a drainage system. It'll be dry in a day or two.
The trees are all green and pretty today, but all of the dirt that had collected on them is now in the roads. When it rains here is a lot like when it snows in the South. People aren't really used to driving in water, and everybody that can stay home does. We had meetings cancelled Friday, and I saw lots of stores closed on Thursday while it was still sprinkling.
This last picture is of the hailstones collected in a planter off our front porch. There's not a local Arabic word for "snow," or "hail," so we just call it all "ice." But I was reading a local online paper Friday morning and clicked the Google Translate button and in English it said there had been snow in our city! No, there wasn't. But a good thunderstorm is just about as rare as snow here.

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