The heat of the past few months has been unbearable. People yearned for rains. It was therefore with great relieve and sighs of contentment that many people welcomed the first claps of rains on the roofs. Everything came to life. Mother Nature cried for joy as her children’s taste buds were quenched and they all sprang to life. The baked earth hungrily absorbed water and green vegetation sprang to life.
One can even enjoy a pot of eru now with no stress at cost. Water leaf don cheap!.
Well, heat gave way to cool soothing breeze and life became good again. Those who were slow in their farms now have to compete with the rains. With the cool soothing breeze came a rebirth of sorts. Children were happy dancing and playing under the rains. An interesting dance ritual that could be well termed a rite of passage. If you have not danced under the rains once then you have missed out one of these important rites of passage for children especially in Africa. It is a moment that knows no gender bias and girls and boys dance together in sheer abandon. Their happy cries and laughter can be heard miles away as the cold dripping waters pouring from heaven’s mouth fall on their semi naked bodies.
And here is where warriors feel trapped, even derived from one of nature’s best moments. Who doesn’t want to experience that magical moment when rain, cold, marrows and body come together to produce shrill happy cries from their audience? As a child, I never wanted to miss all that and despite serious warnings from mama, I ventured into one heavy downpour one day in her absence. I just couldn’t take anymore the happy cries of my friends as I stood longingly watching them have the time of their lives. Of course, I didn’t understand why mama never wanted me to dance under the rains and have fun like my friends.
Thus, I considered that day the perfect opportunity to join my friends and dance with hopeless abandon in the rains. None of us were any wiser. My friends dared me to join them and not wanting to be called a ‘fear fear rat’ I took up the challenge and had my fun.
BIG MISTAKE! And a moment etched in my memory.
A few hours after we had our fun, I was screaming my head off. The cold from the rain has penetrated my body and of course, my red blood cells were frozen and all taken the sickle shape. Na pain you wan see? I cried my eyes dry. Regrets may follow after but at that moment, there was total confusion and chaos! My friends couldn’t understand why I was laughing now and the next moment I was crying and being rushed to my battle field… hospital.
I learnt my lesson the hard way. Till this day, there is no denying the fact that cold is public enemy number one with sickle cell warriors. In fact, while so many people are happy with the rains, I have constantly felt a type and my intake of pain killers have slightly increased since rains started. I just feel slight pains with the least provocation. Whether it is washing plates or caught under the rains, to avoid a full blown crisis as much as humanly possible, warm milk, warm dresses and pain killers have become my favourite companions recently. And thus Yaounde inhabitants are jubilant with the rains and I have this bitter sweet time as the rains pour. Places are cool everyone breaths a thank goodness sigh but I cringe at the cold because it could well mean increased pains and tears.
Kids are naturally curious and they hate to be shut out of the game especially if they feel their friends are having all the fun in the world while they are holed up. Children warriors are not different. They also want to have fun. Parents can try to explain to them why dancing under the rains is the easiest cut for them to land in the hospital. They would all laugh while dancing under the rains but chances are; only they would land in the hospital with excruciating pains fighting for their lives.
Knowledge remains our best defence in this battle for survival. It is sometimes far better to watch the fun and happenings under the rains from the sidelines, even picturing yourself in the fun without getting wet and ending up in the hospital fighting for your life.
Rains and cold are good, but they are not our best friends. Better to dance mbolo mbolo by the fire than under the rain.
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Pic Credits/Links : BBCimg.co.uk/media/images
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/73/01/52/730152322c8978303536425e393d1f81.jpg Retrieved: 07/04/2016
ARREY E. AGBOR-NDAKAW.