Parched

Blue skies smilin’ on me

Cattle lick dust,
Dogs chew garbage.
Baby lips burn and
The red road clings to my skin.

Nothin’ but blue skies do I see.

Dark days.
Save the laundry for tomorrow;
Maybe Sunday we will bathe.

Blue birds singin’ a song.

Green trees like skeletal smiles –
Leaves wave gently in the breeze,
Red with earth, brittle as bone.

Nothin’ but blue birds all day long.

Where is the water?
We must drink.
Where is the water?
We cannot drink the dust.

In my last post, I mentioned that Kenya is experiencing some shortages. Foremost among them is water. It hasn’t rained more than twice in the six weeks since I have been back. That, combined with the fact that the June rains were lighter than normal, means that this part of the country is drying up. The water-table is the lowest it has ever been and many rivers are empty. Since most of Nairobi’s electricity is hydro-power, this has many ripple effects. Both water and electricity are being rationed right now. Each area of the city has designated power-down days – the electricity is shut off to that area three to four days each week during daylight hours. I am on a Tues/Thurs/Sat schedule … usually. It is supposed to come on at night. Most of the time it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. Water rationing follows the electricity. In the drought-affected rural areas, the situation is worse. Sometimes families have to keep children home from school in order to send them scavenging for water.

On the surface, things look good. Trees are still green, the weather seems perfect and if you have the money, food and water can be bought. But if it doesn’t rain soon? Crisis is the word on everyone’s lips. What does that mean? Pray for rain.

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