Most of my friends and family from home has been telling me how cold it has been in the Minnesota and Michigan for the past month. In the Mara we obviously do not have winter, but we do have dry and wet seasons. We are currently in the dry season and it had been over a month since we have had a significant amount of rain. The Mara had become very brown and cows were being herded deep into the National Park in search of grass.
Last night we were trying to get back to camp so that we could watch the Presidential inauguration when the sky broke open. It rained so hard I could barely see the road, which actually looked more like a stream than road. We slipped back to camp just as the rain began to let up.
When I got back I found that James Kerempe, the chef/handyman of camp, had wisely set up a rain catch using an old tarp that he had removed from our kitchen tent earlier in the day. What great timing! In five minutes his rain catch had collected about 200 liters of rain. This water will save us a drive to the river to get water for the people that use the camp shower or possibly to the lodge where we get our drinking water.
The rain stopped as quickly as it started and we walked over to our friends lodge to watch the inauguration. We missed the big speech, but were able to catch some of the later speeches and analysis. Later in the night the thunder and lightning brought down another flood from the sky. The total amount of rain for the night was 48 millimeters (~2 inches).
Not only will we save fuel by not having to drive to get water, but the grass in the area is noticeably greener today. Good for he wildlife, good for the livestock and good for me. It was too wet to due regular observations this morning, so I got to sleep in and read a book for the first time in weeks!