Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And The Rains Came

Stranded in a Taxi
Stranded in a Taxi, originally uploaded by Miloflamingo.
Early March is not supposed to be wet. Early March is when we have some sandstorms, some wind, some warm but not hot sun, and some cool nights. What we got last night was wet. REAL wet.

I was riding with some friends about noon and we were commenting on how warm it was for March. All of us were riding our rehabilitation cases, so it was the countryside for us with the firm footing that the horses who are coming off of tendon problems need. On our travels we ran into a neighbour who commented that we could relax because it was supposed to rain the next day. Rain? Looking into blue skies. Rain? No way. We finished our ride and went home where the electricity that had been nonexistent all day decided to come on just in time for me to prepare the bread for my parrots and take a shower before heading off to Mme. Wigdan Barbare's Shams el Asil stud just down the road for a celebration of her eighth generation of Egyptian Arabian horses. Dany is an old friend and one of the foremost breeders of Arab horses in the world, so this was an occasion that I wouldn't miss for anything. ( if you want to see)

I got back in time to feed the parrots their freshly baked bread, a concoction that I've worked out to ensure that they have the nutritional necessities. It's a mixture of soaked sorghum, black-eyed peas, whole wheat, pasta, vegetables (this time pumpkin, broccoli, hot peppers, and beets) pureed in a blender with whole eggs including shells, tahini, sunflower oil, peanuts, shredded coconut, and corn meal that I bake for about 3 hours in a low oven in 5 kilo batches weekly. I have the fattest sparrows in Egypt living here.

I got the creatures all fed and on a whim took another shower to wash my hair, figuring that it would be enough of a rush in the morning to get to yoga. A brilliant whim because about half an hour later the sky went black and the hounds went crazy when thunder and lightening crashed overhead. The heavens opened and....the power went out again.

Whenever it rains here, the main grid for us farmers dies. Whatever the weakness is, we know that no one is going to fix it until the rain stops for fear of electrocution. I can't blame them. So it was time to light up all the candles and work on a book outline until my laptop died, which it did about 9 pm. Nothing to do then but go to bed like the chickens. The dogs, needless to say, were a great deal less than thrilled that the garden was quickly turning into a swamp.

This morning I woke to a steady drizzle interspersed with more serious rain. Wonderful. Still no power and I was so happy that I'd washed my hair the night before. I fed the parrots and the chickens quickly before yoga, ignoring the indignant looks of the chickens who were wading in puddles left by the night's precipitation. As I left for yoga, I noticed that there were fresh skid marks leading from the road to the canal. I suspect that the rain exacted its toll on our country drivers. My usual 20 minute drive into Maadi turned into almost an hour as the traffic slowed to a crawl to slosh through pools of muddy water that reached to the middle of the tires or above. Thank heaven for a jeep. Not everyone was so lucky as the photo attests.

The power finally came back on about 4 pm today, not before I had time to bring my water to wash dishes from the hand pump and heat it. It was an interesting exercise, one that many of my neighbours do on a daily basis. I couldn't refrain from a cheer when the lights in the kitchen came back on. I don't think that I'm really cut out for a frontier life. At least I never got around to mopping the floors yesterday. Now that would have been a frustration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That brought a smile to my face.
The wooden doors and windows in our house in Libya would shrink in the heat of the summer, then when the rains arrived we would have a waterfall running down the stairs, water running everywhere and the most memorable powercut was on Christmas day when the turkey had just started warming in the oven,Johanna