Rainy season

I was told when the rains started again back in May that they were coming late, and I could see El Salvador was parched and needed the relief by the time the rains were falling regularly. I am happy that it’s rainy season again because it makes our little garden happy, it makes the farms across the countryside happy, it makes the lakes and rivers happy, and it brings El Salvador back to the lushly green country we landed in a year ago. It’s a good thing.

It does also mean that our ceiling is leaking again, even though we have over a month of roofers up there after the last rainy season. It also, this time, means our little tomatoes aren’t reaching maturity because the daily pounding rains are too much for them to bear. And most annoying, it means the mosquitoes are out in force and have somehow breached our perimeter, such that I killed five inside the house yesterday and four so far today.


Couldn’t hang.


Stormy afternoons

IMAG0693Nearly every day we’ve been on Koh Yao Noi, an afternoon storm has blown in, chasing all the cats to shelter and soaking the spongy lawn. There’s usually a strong wind with it, which causes the palm trees to bend the way you see them do on the news when they’re covering a big storm, but it only happens in gusts.

Last night we were treated to a rainbow and some spectacular clouds, too, and then a distant lightening show after the storm had left our beach and night had fallen. And now this morning, the calm blue sky is back.

Temperatures rising

Last week I was shivering in the shade. This week it’s been nothing but sweating in sun hats. Rabat seemed to skip the pleasant temperatures of spring and go straight to the 80s. Well, the Moroccans are calling this pleasant; I’m struggling to adjust to the sudden spike.

Luckily, hats, sandals, skirts and sleeveless tops are all allowed at school. Two of those things don’t transition as well to my walk home from school, but I make do. Tomorrow we’re going on a field trip to the local zoo—Woot! Shorts outing! Except…

Our apartment is reacting to the change, too: our chilly tile is no longer so chilly, and the bugs have multiplied. Colin is awoken nightly by mosquitoes. And I need to remember some different meals because lentils twice a week and stews twice a week aren’t so appetizing these days.

It does mean we get to take more advantage of our terrace area and the sweet lanterns I picked out for my birthday, though unfortunately the construction project directly across from us has built up nearly to our fifth-story height.

Our salon area stays dim and cool in the afternoon, so that’s where I do a lot of the wedding planning. If you’ve worried that I’ve disappeared from the internet, you’re welcome to keep track of my engrossed activity on that front.

Blow out

Sun, cloud, sun, cloud, downpour—all in one hour, all day long, two days running. The wind blows the weather in and away. Gusts lift children’s hats from their heads and sends them chasing, squealing, after.

The wind picks up sand from the desert, sand from the beach, driving it into eyes and freshly washed cars. Flags whip and snap, and birds stay above it all. The flotsam of the city is blown from its piles and scattered down the road.

Doors blow open; windows bang shut; our drafty apartment whistles. Hopefully by tomorrow, the wind will have blown itself out.

Happy Friday

We had a rainy day at school today, meaning the kindergartners were stuck inside drawing or reading a lot more than they normally are, which made for a very long day. By the time I was cleaning up the mess from making play-dough (as in, flour + water + salt), I was already ready to head home, but it wasn’t yet lunchtime.

But it was all a little sweeter because my favorite kindergartner made me a paper link for a bracelet that morning, and then later I got not one but three drawings made for me. “I made this for you, Ms. T.” D’awwww.

Maybe their parents told them not to bring home any more drawings.

Oh! Plus I bought a plug-in radiator this evening so life in our apartment is much more pleasant!

When I agreed to live in North Africa…

I didn’t expect hail in November.

But here I am, the morning after, huddled under Colin’s sleeping bag and loving the heat coming out of my laptop. I admit some of this discomfort is self-imposed: they do sell space heaters here and we could try a little DIY home insulation. I am not looking forward to winter.

Maybe we’re just living like the locals–the heaters are out in the part of the school I was working in yesterday, and at one point the principal came round to suggest we do a bunched-up reading circle if the kids get too cold in the 62-degree room. Or we could get the heater fixed?

I didn’t expect the most exciting aspect of computer class for the elementary kids to be picking different fonts in the word processor. They love that nonsense! “Oh no! My story disappeared!” Nope, you put it in Wingdings.

I also didn’t expect to get an Advent calendar, either, but the other day Colin brought home one of those for me! Happy December!

What’s the bloomin’ rush?

I guess I should finally pack away my dreams of sledding down the hill across the street, as I’m recovering from what I suspect was a mild case of heat exhaustion as I write. With temperatures reaching into the 80s today and nothing but beautiful weather stretching as far as the forecast can say, I’d say winter is a goner.

I got to spend this beautiful day outside, too, as luck would have it. We did a school planting with a bunch of 1st and 2nd graders, and I got to be the photographer. The kids were a crack-up and the trees look great, but we were planting in the very hottest part of the day. Hence the heat exhaustion.

There’s no way I’d miss the flowering trees in all their showy glory, but thanks to the tree-focused internship, I’m starting to notice the early signs. There’s a tree whose branches reach practically into our bedroom window, and I’ve been monitoring it everyday. I don’t have the language for everything I’m witnessing, but it’s neat nonetheless.

Not the tree outside my window, but too pretty to be left out.

All of this is really making me want a yard to plant a garden in. I’m making do with the mini-rose bush Colin gifted me for Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a picture for you right now, because it’s recovering from a perhaps too-harsh pruning session (suffered at my hands), but it’s making a comeback, as expected.

And in celebration of spring and math, I am participating in Pi Day tomorrow. I’m going to try my hand at a lemon meringue pie—go big or go home, right?

Springing forward

It was appropriately warm today for this harbinger of spring, the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. After a delightful brunch at NapoleonI took a nice bike ride downtown to run some errands and meet a friend, and I remembered to bring my camera with me.

The mild winter we had means there are plenty of flowering trees ripe for admiration around D.C. The National Cherry Blossom Festival doesn’t start yet for two weeks, and I’m sure the organizers are sweating over whether there will be any blossoms left for the festivities. Locals are lucky to have the chance to enjoy them before the out-of-towners arrive en masse.

We’re also finalizing our plans for Colin’s spring break. We’ll be spending the first weekend celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in New York with a friend who generously invited us up to his family’s home in Yonkers, then we’ll be going on a camping trip in western Virginia with another pal. I talked Colin into car camping, so it should be a restful trip with plenty of food and water, which makes for a nice change for us.


No more snow, no more writing prompts, still no Colin, no draining kitchen sink: back to the mundane reality of a Monday morning in DC.

I have an insider tip for all of you dwelling outside the DC area: this town doesn’t handle snow well. We got less than an inch Friday night and nothing since, and all the area schools and government offices are opening two hours late today. I’m beginning to wonder if last year’s Snowpocalypse and the previous year’s Snowmageddon weren’t blown a little out of proportion…

It turns out I’m getting a two-hour-delayed start to my Monday too, thanks to a malfunctioning kitchen sink. No, Colin wouldn’t be any more capable of handling this situation than I am. Hopefully the complex’s fix-it person is.