Wednesday, 5 am. A loud sound woke the whole village up at the same time. It sounded like a bomb had fallen on the house. And after it, silence. A silence that kept us in alert and warned us about a storm. And so it was. Few minutes after the strong rain that fall in Gandiol, the feeling was like it had been waiting for years to fall. The balcony ceiling looked like a waterfall and the thunderstorm started. Suddenly, we got ourselves awaken in the balcony watching the spectacle. It was a dark night, but the thunderbolts lighted the garden scenario with its multiples tones of green.
On the following morning, over breakfast, Mamadou told us that he had never seen a rain as intense as this one. And then we got anxious to see which changes it will bring to us… It rained during 4 hours, but we felt it like days. Saint Louis was flooded, the roads of access to our house also flooded… Most of the field is a salty ground and it doesn’t absolve water. Few days after and the taxi drivers still refused to get close to our house just because we had a welcome pool in front. This has made us swim a little bit.
As you can imagine, we were afraid for the adobes… With lots of walls already raised, the higher rows of adobes suffered some damage since they are more exposed to the rain. The plastics were placed on the walls in order to cover them and because of that the damages were reduced. Many adobes that were on the ground got damaged, but it is possible to reuse them for the mortar. And something good has also risen from all of this: because of the rain we started to see some green weeds growing, which gives life to our sandy site. In each situation, there is always something good to see, it is just a question of seeing the world with a positive look and it just depends on us.
After the strong rain, the sun came back to welcome the volunteers! The first group has arrived this last weekend to work on the Hahatay Summer Camp. Since it started, Hahatay promotes spaces of cultural exchange between people from different origins and contexts (specially Senegalese and Spanish), in order for them to learn one with each other, like birds, taking the good from the north and from the south, just like our Xarit did.
They will work to finish the class for kids built out of recycled plastic bottles, educational workshops for the kids, classes of Senegalese food, dance and excursions. They arrived with strong wills to work, to learn and to share! A great energy kick to all of us: fresh air and new perspectives.
And about the construction, it keeps going nanke nanke (little by little). Neither the rain nor the wind has stopped us. We have finished the foundation cementation and the veranda pillars are rising as fast as foam. The mortar covering of the administration building is almost done. And, thanks god! Because yesterday, after the warmest day we have lived here in Senegal, we had again the rain visit over the night. This time it announced itself with a strong wind that brought the sand from the patio to our bedroom. That’s what it is! It was just in time to show to the volunteers that we are on the rain season (or the “hivernage”). Let’s see if they were thinking that this would be just sun, sun and sun!