Sometimes here we take things like water for granted and get upset when the hot water heater doesn’t heat the water quick enough for us. One of the wonderful and different experiences in Tanzania is that you get to learn to live with the rhythm of nature.
There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania – the long rains in March/April and the short rains in November. Just prior to the long rains everything is held in suspense as the rains threaten to not to come until the last minute. The whole country starts to grind to a standstill. Everyone is affected. For Steve and Teena the hydro electric power is rationed to 40%, water tanks start to become empty. For cattle herders like the Maasai cattle watering holes have been drunk months ago and grass is a memory. The wildlife suffers even worse (they have no electricity at all!), wildebeest don’t know which way to turn (not that they ever do) for water and mill around all over the place.
Then it starts to rain and rain and rain. Soon there is grass nearly a foot tall where the week before there was none. The wildebeest and other wildlife suddenly find water everywhere and don’t need to search for it (but they still do not know which way to turn).
The next question is whether it will be enough to see everyone and everything through the next dry season. That is when the wildebeest show their mettle leading across the Serengeti plains to follow the green grass north as it runs out in the south, using their instincts and their noses to sniff out water along the way. And just as things begin to get desperate the process starts all over again. The circle of life is not just a song from a movie.