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the flood

Rarely warmer than 80°F and almost never colder than 50°F, Nairobi’s climate is perfect nine or ten months out of the year. The two rainy seasons are the exceptions to the rule, as torrential downpours inundate large parts of the city. The long rains typically come in April-May so we tried to time our R&R to coincide with the rainy season and only caught the beginning of the rains this year. The short rains are harder to predict, especially with the advent of climate change. At least half a dozen different times over the course of the last several months, we’ve watched Kenyans look skyward and declare the start of the short rains, only to see the rains dissipate after a few days and give way to weeks of uninterrupted sunshine.

Two weekends ago, we were convinced the rains finally did come. Coming back from dinner one night, the sky opened up and pretty soon we found ourselves navigating small lakes, which had formed all along the road. Last year, around the same time, we managed to flood our sparkplugs this way. The rest of the week was mostly dry, but this is an El Niño year, so we’re bracing ourselves for the deluges that will surely come, and hoping that they end before our next group of visitors arrives in December.

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