Peace Corps

It never rains but it pours.

And it’s only the start of the rainy season. That’s the price I pay for living in a tropical paradise, I suppose. Except Cotonou’s not really a paradise. It’s a dirty smelly city. When it’s dry, it’s hot and polluted and miserable as the sun beats down on sidewalks and streets with no shade, literally cooking the sewage in the gutters.

Rain helps somewhat, washing the dirt, the grime, and the litter away into the Atlantic Ocean. It also washes away the sand roads in my neighborhood and makes some alleys inaccessible as puddles and small ponds sit and breed mosquitoes because it’s too damn humid for the water to evaporate.

I love the rain because it’s cleansing. I love the moments before it starts, where the whole world takes their laundry down from the line and runs for cover under the yellow sky. I love the moments when the water is rushing so hard and so fast you can’t hear yourself think over the racket. I love the moment when the sun comes out after a storm, and everything is renewed.

But rainstorms are also lonely as I hole up in my apartment by myself. Tonight was going to be wine and enchiladas, but all the tomato stands closed down for the storm and will remain so for the duration of the shower (probably another couple of hours). And I can’t find a zem (moto-taxi) to take me to buy a decent bottle of wine until the rain stops so . . . here I am.

Ramen for dinner it is.

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