All posts tagged: drought

mid-week link love

I’m living for the weekends lately, for the deep breaths and slivers of free time. It’s Wednesday in Hargeisa, so we’ve got one more day until we can relax (work on side projects). Here are a few links to get us all through!

on an upswing

Somewhere in there I lost myself, I tipped into the darkness that comes around every now and again, pays a visit without invitation, overstays its welcome. The darkness of old would shock me into submission, steamroll me to the point of immobility. And, looking for something to blame, I’d get lost in arguments with myself about the origins of my own depression – circumstance, coincidence, fate, dumb luck, or my own mistakes and missteps. I’d resisted the shadows as best I could, thinking I could hold them back. Once I realized I could not, I opened the doors and welcomed them: Let’s have a go, let’s make our way down the stairs, and sit for a while in the darkness at the bottom.

on Roda, and resilience

Roda invited us into her tea shop, a wooden frame of sticks and crunchy, curled, leaves shading customers from the sun. We had made our way into rural Somaliland for monitoring activities, and at one stop we chatted with Roda, businesswoman and single mother of six. A tea kettle sat on smoking logs, and we sat on woven mats on the ground. birds flitted through the leaves above us, chirping away. At the time, Roda was doing pretty well for her family: she had a decent income from her tea shop, and she owned a couple cows. She was making it work, holding it together. I’ve been thinking about Roda during the past few weeks as the drought in Somalia and Somaliland slides quickly into something much worse. Of all the things we’re able to control in the modern day, the weather just isn’t one of them (yet), and this corner of the world is especially vulnerable to climate change. I think also about community, and its power to manifest resilience in the individual. In this place, community is fierce; a Somali with …

on the rain

In school history books, and cheesy movies, you learned about those ancient (and not so ancient) civilizations whose agricultural practices made them dependent upon fickle precipitation, and even more fickle gods. The rituals, the sacrifices, the offerings to appease the powers that were. anything for rain, anything for fertile fields and a promise of a full harvest. How strange to imagine someone high in the sky, debating whether or not to roll up their sleeves and wring out the clouds. Yet, working with farmers through a dry season, my relationship to rainfall has changed. Because now everything–everything–depends on that rain. Where I once saw puddling obstacles, or traffic jams, or the lowly absence of an umbrella, even a pleasant summer thunderstorm, I now see hope, and sprouting sprouts, and tremendous relief. When the wind gathers speed and the drops begin to fall, I’m elated, beyond thrilled, as are my colleagues. Because we would give almost anything for rain, for fertile fields, for a promise of a full harvest. And I can imagine – I can just see …

on an empty sky

Mid-February, and the sky gives up nothing. Condensation ascends, gathers …and moves past. It’s a refusal, or a dare, or a test. There’s a missing link between earth and sky — a natural connection, absent. You can’t help but wonder if the clouds have simply forgotten you.