Friday, June 15, 2012

Mucha Lluvia

In Washington we have many words to describe rain, since it is such a significant part of our daily lives. Whether it's pouring, misting, sprinkling, raining, showering, drizzling, coming down like cats and dogs or in sheets we take note of how Mother Nature drops water upon us. As a product of this culture, rain is a part of who I am. I will always appreciate the smell and sound of precipitation.

In Belize the rainy season has begun. These jungle rains are a far cry from the rains I know so well. When a storm breaks the temperature drops to a more comfortable heat, but only momentarily. They are accompanied by exciting bursts of loud clapping thunder and bright flashes of light. The rains soak everything quickly which makes working in the field all the more exciting. As if that's not enough fun, the rain brings friends, clouds of giant mosquitoes! Nothing can stop these guys, they're the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of the mosquitoes that I had become accustomed to.

The locals seem to embrace the rainy season. Multiple times when I have asked someone “Como esta?” the response I receive is “Mucha lluvia.” Apparently, a lot of rain is a state of being in Belize! I find this almost comical, but love the energy and optimism that I have seen in the people here.
The rainy season is also the slow season for turistas. This means that activity at the lodge has slowed greatly, leaving it a much quieter, relaxing place. In ways it is also easier to get work done, with less distractions and less people on the wifi connection (that fades in and out with the weather). In heavy down pours I can even be caught with an umbrella, and in the field my “Rite in the Rain” notebooks are my best friends!

Hopefully this early bit of the rainy season will prepare me for my return to the states! Who knows what the weather will be like in the Pacific Northwest upon my arrival. In just two weeks I will be flying home! This concept doesn't quite seem real yet and there is still much to do here in Belize!