Saturday, February 6, 2010

273 Days In - El Nino

The rains came.

A deluge of water, battering roofs and sluicing down roads.

Palm trees bent pitifully in the wind, as only palm trees can, reminding us that it should not be like this here.

Every year, I am told, there is a storm season; every ten years or so, there is El Nino. Lucky for us, Chris and I got to experience the full-throttle version during our first year here.

As the weather men work themselves into an overexcited frenzy, due to the event of having something to report, Chris’ parents bring in the patio cushions and tie tarpaulin over the canvas section of the boat; neighbours are spotted putting out sand-bags.

Chris and I get on with our routines. Out and about, we are oblivious to the tornado warnings, and impeding floods, merrily going about our business in the knowledge that we know how to drive in the rain.

But, as my mother-in-law warned us “these are real storms”; and Chris staggers in from a harrowing drive, describing the rain like buckets of water being thrown at the car. He says, with wonder in his eyes, “it’s like nothing I have ever experienced before”.

Time and place tell us that he must have driven straight through the tornado.

So the rains stayed.

As rivers gushed down the streets and into people’s homes, water falling from the sky abated somewhat, but remained continuous, bringing rumbles of thunder and lightening bolts.

Evidence on the beach indicates waves like battering rams; small boats hang precariously off the cliff, never-before-seen rocks are uncovered, and there is a light scattering of pebbles on the once soft sand.

We sip tea and snuggle under blankets, feeling safe in our home.

And then the rains invaded.

It just all got too much for the poor flat roof. First the kitchen fell victim, then the study, and lastly the living room. It seemed that every time we ventured from our room we would see more towels laid out, pans strategically placed and plastic sheets covering furniture.

After a break in the weather the roof-man arrived; he clomped about on the roof a couple of hours, banging at this and that.

Luckily for Chris’ parents they get to check if his work is worth the money, as today the rains have returned.