The weather broke this afternoon. Or the sky did. We have had a little rain each day, usually late afternoon about five. Rain here is a funny thing. You can see it coming far away, as it comes over the mountains, and quite some time before seeing the rain come you can hear the thunder. Then the clouds come over dark and threatening, and then from all of that calamity we might get a little rain.
Today, it rained like I have not seen rain in years. Maybe never. Wind, howling, blowing, thunder crashing and lightning, oh the lightning. You will wish you could have seen the skies, and I cannot describe it. Lightning ripped across the sky, brilliant and loud and close. The lightning struck ground first far off in the mountains, but as the storm blew through the lightning struck closer and closer to our guest house.
The kind of lightning that shocks you, though not literally, as the flashes are bright and the thunder follows with no delay. Loud and ringing in your ears. You can look out and see it strike, and you’re happy you’re inside a structure that can withstand a lot of weather.
Beautiful. Like so many things here, beautiful, powerful, drawing out emotion, bringing in wonder.
I drove to town earlier today. I have never driven in Haiti, or Port au Prince or Pignon specifically. The roads here are almost non-existent, and as you follow the roads or paths of dust and stone and you’re passed by the more common small Chinese motorcycles on each side, honking and rushing dangerously around the pickup truck we have to drive. A completely beat up and dented and over-used pickup with only 70,000 miles on it. A lifetime or two for a vehicle in Pignon.
With no reverse. Don’t make a wrong turn.
And don’t travel down a road where the houses have been extended out into the street, and lined with parked motor bikes or a truck or tap tap or simply lined and crowded with people walking down the road. With donkeys everywhere, goats young and old, starving dogs lying in the middle, noise, people cooking on the sides and selling foods you can’t recognize. Without reverse, your choices of directions is limited. You come to the corner and look at the street before turning, and guess if you can actually make it a block or two.
So today I drove into Pignon and dropped off the crew working on the Pignon water project. And we made it. We did not hit anyone, any animal, anything. And I made no wrong choices of direction in driving back the Haiti Outreach compound, and so I was feeling pretty excited by the whole adventure.
I have now driven in Pignon. And I never have to do it again if I choose. And I may choose not to. At least if I know the truck does not have reverse.
After the rain, the ground here is almost rich, though not quite, and not really. But the children and adults come out to walk in the puddles, and I witnessed more than one small dance in a muddy field, and I think if you try you can see it in your mind, just a little. The ground replenished, as much as it can be in Haiti, and the air fresh, and the breeze following the storm not quite as oppressive as the sun.
A promise of a cool night, and a bit higher humidity as a result tomorrow, but for the moment there is an almost cool breeze in the air, and where the sun makes you happy, the rain seems to add just a bit more of a smile to that happiness, and you cannot help but feel an extra dash of hope for everything around you.
As the weather breaks, as the sky breaks open, as the roads and fields and yards fill to overflowing for a brief moment, you feel at home. You have watched the majesty once again of the nature around you, and you smile, and take comfort as the storm has passed and you are alive, and exhilarated, and in Haiti, and all for a brief but pleasant moment seems right.