THE WET SEASON

februar 2013 009The wet season here in West Timor is shorter than other places in Indonesia. This is why it is so dry here the rest of the year.  Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia,  has experienced very bad floods this year. There are floods every year in the wet season, but this year has been one of the worse ones with thousands of people having to flee from their homes. Even here in Kupang there have been floods. 3 villages were affected, and hundreds of houses were flooded after a day of continuous rain from morning to evening. We have not witnessed this ourselves but read about it in a local newspaper.

The wet season came quite late this year. Not until the middle of December did we start to have some really heavy rain.  UNPREDICTABLE is the word that best describes the wet season here. It is not like other places in the tropics where the rain comes  in the afternoon every day, and it rains for a couple of hours.  There is no system at all here. The rain is at times extremely heavy. So heavy that it will wake us up in the night and we can’t sleep again until it is over. Sometimes it is as if somebody just turned on an extremely powerful shower above our heads, and then turns it off just as suddenly a few minutes later. Quite  fascinating.

februar 2013 013

So how have we been coping with the wet season?

When Peter was at the pastors conference the speaker from Singapore spoke about him and his family having  been missionaries in the Philippines. He said that they lived in such a poor house that in the wet season they had to use an umbrella in the kitchen…That sounds very much like us…The options are to use an umbrella, or to just stay out of the kitchen until the rain stops…most often we go for the second option…

Our house  leaks, as we have mentioned a few times before …This is probably the normal thing for Indonesian houses.  Sweeping the floor in the kitchen every time it rains is not really a problem. We have been more concerned with our very wet walls…At times we have wondered if the walls were going to crumble away before the wet season was over…We bought in some  extra fans to try to dry them up, but long before they were anywhere near dry it would start raining again. The worst part is for sure our “outside” kitchen area, but we also have leakages inside. One day even the mattress on the top bunk bed was wet!

Then we discovered an even bigger problem: MOULD. The picture is of the backside of januar 2013 008Erik’s desk.Even my recipe book had mould on it. At this point we were starting to seriously count down days  for the wet season to end. This was in the middle of January, and we couldn’t wait for March to come  with the hope of drier weather.  We were a bit surprised when somebody told us that it was actually February that was the worst month, so we were preparing ourselves for the worst…We washed  the mould away with bleach, the next day it was just as bad. Thanks to the internet we found out that the thing to use against mould is actually VINEGAR. Thanks to the new hypermarket we could buy  some bottles of vinegar, some masks and gloves, we rolled up our sleeves (well, maybe that was a bit exaggerated as we just wear T-shirts here) and got ready to fight our new enemy. After some days of washing and scrubbing and spraying with vinegar ( which we have now proven keeps the mould away longer than bleach does 🙂  ) something very unexpected happened…IT STOPPED RAINING!!!…in the middle of January…

Just minor puddles outside the kindergarten this day...

Just minor puddles outside the kindergarten this day…

Since then we have just had a bit of light rain here and there. Most days are sunny and very warm. ( actually not WARM the locals will correct us, but HOT) To be honest we prefer the heat from the rain. Our air-conditioned house makes the heat bearable… . So now, after some weeks of warmer weather our walls are more or less dry, and with only cosmetic damages…We are thankful. At the same time we are thinking that this must have been an unusually short wet season even for West Timor? We know that most people here are very dependent on a good wet season for their crops to grow. We also know that when the wet season fails there is a big danger of famines here. So we are hoping and praying that the farmers are getting  the rain that they need.

This post was actually written over a week ago, but because of our very unstable internet connection we haven’t been able to post it until now. Maybe just us good, because then we can come with the latest updates…The last week it has started to really rain again…So the wet season is not over just yet…

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2 Responses to THE WET SEASON

  1. Mei says:

    Hi! Came across your blog by accident, and have enjoyed reading them. A group of us are going to be serving in Osiloa and Baumata area (March 2013) and wondered if you were anywhere near that location. Hoping to have a chance to encourage you in your work. Would love to hear from you!

  2. Målfrid says:

    Hei hei! Ikke bare hverdagslige utfordringer dere har nei, men det er nå sånn dere liker det, ikke sant… Nå sitter jeg her mens jentene ser på barne-TV. De er helt oppslukte… Tenker på dere opp til mange ganger hver uke, og teller (foreløpig måneder) ned til vi treffes. Skikkelig kjekt å lese på bloggen, jeg regner med dere har forstått at dere kunne gitt ut bok. Dere skriver så bra begge to! Mye informasjon, og en munnfull humor innimellom, det liker vi!
    Hilse til alle, klem fra oss alle her.

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