Now that we are in the heart of the rainy season we are often asked what this truly means. Is it amazon type monsoons, frequent storms or all day rain? Here in Chapada dos Guimarães it can be all of the above. Being set in a spectacular backdrop of dramatic cliffs and high elevation, our weather can change rapidly and often differs greatly within just a mile or two.
Rain season here can mean incredible cloud formations, mornings with low lying clouds embracing the mountain tops, fabulous storms that rumble over the hills from the north bringing strong winds, lightening and strong rain. From the east the storms are often a little more mild but they last a little longer. But there are also days, sometimes 4 or 5 in a row, that are completely sunny and dry. Then there are days like today- prolonged, steady meditative type of rain that can last for many hours. As of this writing, it’s been raining steadily for the past 14 hours and there is no break in sight.
For nature, the rain season means lush foliage, abundant food, vibrant shades of green and ponds and rivers that are refilled; it’s a time when all of the natural world is rejuvenated. It’s also a time that the elephants will adore! They’ll be covered head to toe in mud and filled to the limit with fresh grass and native fruit. As a quick side note, the elephants don’t always follow the same human safety rules for swimming. When they hear thunderstorms approaching they often head for the ponds and mud wallows because more water means it’s time to play.
What does the rain season means for us and for sanctuary? That depends on the day, but the only word that comes to mind today is adaptation. This is a time of year when it is impossible to make plans based on the weather. All we can do is make the best choices given the scenario and be ready for it all to change.
This morning a truckload of materials arrived. They passed the “worst” part of the hill only to find that 12 hours of rain had caused the water table to rise up directly under part of the road that then turned to a soupy, muddy mess. I suggested to leave the materials and I’d move them later when the skid steer that we are renting arrives, but they insisted to try and try again. Many rocks were moved and water was diverted but the ceaseless rain laughed at the efforts. Three hours later, with sore backs and tired muscles, they concurred that it was not going to happen.
The good news is that nature is thriving and we have materials to continue forward! Plus, now we know what section of the road will be the first to be repaired. Stay tuned as another great delivery will arrive in the next few days, rain and roads permitting.