One of the first things I noticed about Tom, and one of the things I admire in him, is that he has this crazy ability to predict the weather. And 95% of the time, he’s correct, down to the hour. We’ll start our day around five or six am, and he’ll commonly say something like, “It’s going to rain at 10:30”. I look at the cloudless sky overhead, and my Alaskan brain wonders how he could know this. We’ll have overcast skies for days back home, with no precipitation at all. Nutie will say, “Ok. We’ll take the laundry down before then.” and sure enough, the sky opens up at half-past ten, just like Tom predicted.
Like I said, that’s usually how things go in the Keogh house, but these past few days have been different. Hurricane Isaac (currently affecting my beloved friends at GCBI in Florida) has messed with our weather patterns here, too. This morning was exceptionally warm; 90 degrees before nine am. Sitting around the table at lunch today, Tom looked at the darkening clouds in the distant horizon and said, “It’s not going to rain. This will all just pass over us.”
Taking another bite of my rice (I LOVE the fact that we eat rice here every day!), I responded, “That’s what you said yesterday. It was just as hot yesterday morning, but it was down-pouring something crazy in the afternoon. Usually you’re spot-on with the weather, but I’m calling this one. It’s gonna rain hard.”
Later that afternoon I was sitting in the dining room, preparing for English class that was to start in an hour, and one of my students walks in. “Hola! I’ve come early to beat the rain!” Rosa, Nutie and I chatted until 4:45 and then walked over to our classroom to greet the rest of the class. With only three students, I figured the rest of my class stayed home anticipating bad weather. Just as I thought, 5pm on the dot, the skies dumped their contents, preventing any other students from coming. In spite of the weather, we began the class, but soon the rain became a problem. Our classroom has a beautiful thatched roof and no walls; we soon discovered that our roof now leaks, and the run-off was falling faster than the gutter could carry it away. After only 10 minutes of rain we had 2 inches of standing water on the floor. We hurried back into the house, drying ourselves off and setting up a makeshift classroom. But we had to wait for the rain to lighten up; sheet after sheet pounded against the metal roof, making audible conversation impossible. We ended up with only thirty minutes of usable class time, but we made the most of it. This is life in La Muskitia; things seldom go according to plan.
As I waited for the rain to pass, I laughed inside at the picture in front of me. The weather wasn’t ideal for my current situation, but it was exactly as I’d predicted!