The rains have come

The long-awaited rainy season has come to the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. After about the third downpour a few weeks ago, the trees, bushes, and grasses shed their thick layers of brown dust and showed their true lush green beauty. Flowers have been treating us to a rainbow of colors after nature’s thirst quenching wash. 

With the very first rainfall came hoes, shovels, rakes, and plows pulled by animal or man in every field and spare patch of ground.  Even small spaces of weed-covered soil next to a road have been planted. Most of the tools and equipment have been hand made and look as though they have endured many years of use. Banana trees have been cut down with the new growth quickly replacing them.

Potatoes have been dug out of the ground and new crops of maize and beans are now growing. The planting and harvesting season provides temporary work for thousands of people. Like farm owners and field workers anywhere, people here hope and pray for abundant healthy crops. Maize is a food staple and seeing it looking tall and healthy in the fields causes one to rejoice at the thought of the possibility of a little less hunger in this country, at least for a while.

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