Yeah! The first smattering of rain, but only a light drizzle reached us. We watched the storm clouds approach and get close enough – once again! – to smell the moisture in the air, but yet again we watched the storms pass us by and saw the rain falling on the other side of the Yatta. It’s sweltering hot and we are beginning to feel desperate for the rain…We feel desperate because of the stifling, oppressive heat, and because we want our Hippo Lawn to grow lush and green, and for all the trees we’ve planted to sprout and bear leaf…but meanwhile, I cannot help but pause to think of the people for whom the rain means more than mere comfort and a healthy garden –for whom survival stretches thinly from one rainy season to the next, and for whom the rain is literally the difference between life and death. The short bi-annual rainy seasons are the only time when there is enough rain to grow a maize crop in this dry and desolate hinterland. The food people can grow in the short period of rain, and in the infertile, poor soil is all they have to keep them alive until the next rains fall, six months down the line. It makes one think: surely Nature never intended people to live here in the first place, for it is too harsh a place for humans and our pampered crops. The wild animals and plants, on the other hand, have evolved over millennia to live – indeed to thrive – in these conditions but people and their domesticated stock invariably wilt and struggle to make ends meet here.