The curious thing about seasons here is that they have them.

I keep expecting the hours of daylight to change one of these days, which of course, doesn’t happen, though there is a slight shift—during winter, oddly enough—towards later sunsets, but it’s merely a matter of half an hour’s difference. That supports the “no seasons” hypothesis.

Part of me every so often thinks there will be a drastic change of temperature to mark another season, but fond as I am of the 4 distinct seasons in Manitoba with all their extremes, I am, for the most part, quite content with the unremitting warm weather, though I don’t know how many years of it I could take before I had a strong hankering for some good old winter. Those four seasons, however, have skewed my expectations.

Looking for more subtle nuances instead, I observe seasons indeed, subtle though they may be. The hot, humid, rain-less days of dry season are quite distinct from the grey monotony of rainy season and both differ from the mixed bag of weather that transitioned between the two.

Not only the weather has changed, but the activity of the village also.

Dry season is lively time of people coming and going: it is less often the 4X4s of rainy season’s cocoa shippers, and more often taxis (decrepit Toyotas held together by prayer and strength of will) and a seemingly ever-increasing stream of okadas (motorbikes). The roads are far more passable, yes, but I still marvel at the thought of a car making it all the way out here. The other day I saw a poor little car whose trunk was so overflowingly loaded with huge pieces of a tree trunk that it required 2 or 3 kids hanging off the back to make sure none of the wood fell off.

Dry season is a time for events and meetings. Bamboo-pole wall/palm-leaf roof shelters pop up everywhere to house age group association meetings, dances, dinyangis, funerals, church conferences, cultural association meetings. After the event is finished, they remain in place, the leaves slowly drying and turning more brown, until some three months after the event, the tent is torn down and burnt.

Along with those events, dry season is a time for music and television. The humm of a generator is often heard to power blasting stereos for either dance or church music, and a flock of bamboo poles supporting TV and cell phone antennae stand sentinel over many houses to pipe in football [soccer] games or connect to the unsteady signal for phone access.

And the bugs are back. I suffered from the moot moots my first months in the village, then miraculously the itches went away, so I held out hopes I’d finally gotten used to it. No such luck. Suddenly, I find myself being munched on again; not moot moots per se—I couldn’t say what it is, possibly the mosquitoes that are so feared for their malaria-carrying properties—but the conclusion is unavoidable that biting insects have made a re-appearance in Big Bekondo.


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