The song “Have you ever seen the Rain” by CCR rings in my head as I write this. Most of you reading this probably come from a temperate climate where rain or snow falls year-round, albeit heavy at certain times in spring or winter.
To illustrate what it’s like here in El Salvador, which is essentially “black or white” in terms of rainfall (6 months on, 6 months off), I quote from a diary entry written this time a year ago.
It hasn’t rained here, literally one drop, in months (last rain was an evening in November), and though the river is much lower, there’s still enough to swim in, bathe in, or wash clothes, so we are lucky. Our river is the Metayate river, and at least two upstream water sources flow into it. Further up the road, in Agua Caliente, only one source feeds their ‘river’ which has now dwindled into a trickling brook, algae forming in shallow pockets everywhere.
Because the water in our river is moving so slowly, a strange juxtaposition of temperatures within create odd sensations. While swimming, in one moment you are moving through a layer of very warm water within the top 2 feet, but moving below this or towards the periphery, one encounters a sudden ‘cold flash’. The water has cooled at night by a large drop in temperature, and as the current is not moving enough new water, nor swiftly enough, those patches stay cool even after mid-day. – Saturday, March 13, 2010
For someone not accustomed to living in a country with a “rainy season” or a “dry season,” not seeing a drop of water fall from the sky for months on end feels most peculiar.