September 24, 2007

Big Rains

For those of you who have kept up with International news, you've probably heard of flooding in Northern Uganda. This has definitely been true in many areas. In our dry arid area we even had some flash flooding. In many ways the landscape of Karamoja reminds me so much of home in West Texas. But as far as my memory reaches back, it can pull to mind no such sights.

We have a gulley(sp?) in front of our house, which is always bone dry. There was once a bridge and its huge culverts are washed out over a 20 meter distance. This is my only visible proof that water had ever flown through here other than the massive erosion. Still I found it hard to believe. Kristin, our friend, told me of stories about Abbie, the previous missionaries' daughter getting caught in a big rain and hanging on to the bridge(they could probably edit that story a lot!), and also that during one such huge rain the entire side fence to the compound was washed away.

Honestly, I still found it hard to imagine. This June when we had Erik and Karyn with us, it rained every day. They teased that Karamoja was supposed to be dry and we were forced to stay inside many days. One day we heard a roaring and when we finally ventured out, sure enough the gulley was flowing with water and Karyn very nearly lost her slipper in a breathtaking gush of muddy water...

So Erik and Karyn, this is for you. I wish I knew how to put video on this thing, because the picture is one thing- but the video of rapidly flowing water is completely another thing.

Three weeks ago Jacob was in the house working and Georgia was outside having a language lesson with Martha under the awning. Martha had her baby there and there was a gentle rain. Sire and Kristin sat with us as we talked and the rain came down harder and faster. Gradually we all inched our way closer to one another and the one wall as rain battered from each direction. After more than an hour the sound of a great roaring could be heard... Sure enough the dry gulley was aflow. We went out as soon as the rain had let up enough and it was quite a sight! As if that wasn't enough, Buddy ventured out to follow Jacob as he was posing for a 'depth of water' proof picture and our precious wart-hog dog got carried away in the current and just barely caught in a tree with water pouring over him. I never knew an animal's eyes could trully be large and round- but his were! I stood frozen with my camera- not sure what to do- and so I missed the great shots! Just when we thought all was well- and Jacob had grasped Buddy by a paw and was pulling him against current- Daisy went ballistic and literally lept into the water! She didn't stand a chance and immediately got sucked under and pulled along- Jacob caught her with his free hand as she passed him and pulled them back to safety. Dog Rescue!

In less than two hours- most of the 'river' had receded. How nuts is that? Trace from MedAir walked over the next day(or maybe that evening?) and though it was muddy was not bothered. I told her how high the water had reached and even she couldn't believe it! I had to show her the video. So here are some shots from our surprising misadventure in Kaabong.
A picture of the gulley, with water in it, a week after the big rains. Notice how far away the red gate is in the previous picture. That entire area was rapidly flowing water.

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