Crazy Storm this Side

If there had been any question as to whether or not the rainy season had begun in Francistown, last Friday certainly gave us a definite answer.

Lately we’d been receiving brief but still unusual rain showers, lasting around 10-15 minutes at the most, sometimes with substantial thunder and lightning but doing little else other than giving us a break from the hot and dry Botswana climate.

Last Friday, however, Francistown finally experienced the rainy season’s grand entrance. Having just returned home from a week at work, I welcomed the weekend by putting some Black Keys through my living room speakers, preparing a huge, improvised salad (a new and refined kitchen hobby that replaced the heavy-thigh producing bread-making hobby), and sipping a glass of red.  Not an hour had passed at home before I felt the thunder begin to rumble, so I put my salad in the fridge,  took my glass and my camera and sat on my porch.

During the storm the power went out all over Francistown and remained out until 2 a.m. It was the longest power outage I experienced since moving here. Once the storm ended and the sun set, the neighborhood became still and pitch-black, and though I looked I was disappointed to see the clouds still veiled the potentially amazing scene of stars. Whatever, I thought. I didn’t have plans for the evening anyway, and I desperately needed “me time” since hosting a Halloween get together the weekend before.  So I made the most of the powerless darkness by watching previously downloaded TED Talks and Californication episodes until my wine ran dry and my little laptop battery gave out.  The night turned out to be just what I needed.

The next morning I went to a work event football match, and on the way I saw several huge trees uprooted, tin roofs lying next to their houses, leaves and branches all over people’s yards (usually Batswana are very strict about keeping their yards neatly swept), and large pools of rainwater collected on the sides of most of the roads.

About a week prior I got caught in a smaller storm without protection, so as a side note, now I never leave the house without my umbrella.

2 Responses

  1. Those crazy downdrafts in the video are awe inspiring. Vertical wind? That’s crazy even by Texas standards!

  2. We have a monsoon season here and it cracks me up when it monsoons. It’s so majestic to see those types of storms, I think.

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