Antonia is nearly a year into her life changing decision to leave the UK behind and join our team. As we move towards the rains she shares her experiences of one of her toughest challenges yet.. the October heat!
Chapter 2: October
There is a monitor lizard which sleeps on my roof sometimes. In the corner of the bathroom up where the wall meets the corrugated metal you can see a claw, an end of the tail. If she shifts, like when I turn the light on, you hear nails clawing, belly dragging. Slowly slowly she moves until the sun brings energy; unbearable October heat welcomed only by the cold-blooded.
The heat. It's the subject of every conversation right now. Bringer of sleepless nights, sweaty backs and unquenchable thirst. Like in any hot place us humans complain of melting, we wish we could fit inside the fridge, we frazzle. My house is hot. I've already mentioned the metal roof - when was that ever a good idea?
They warned me of October. Back in the stickiness of February rains when I was fresh faced in the valley the voices consented, jostled to be heard, to drive home their point - 'just wait till October’. What I wasn't ready for was how fast the fated month would march toward me, time in the valley slips away and days pass as quickly as clouds scud across the sky. Except they don't. I mean there are no clouds now. Not for days have clouds patched the vastness over the valley. We are all dry. Dust hangs in the air, prices rise in the market and the mopane trees finally stand bare. Hippos moan as they jostle for space in the shrinking Luangwa River. Heat shimmers over scorched grass and a seemingly permanent single drop of sweat sits on my upper lip.