Lira’s rain

We could see people running around screaming. A hut, one of their homes, had caught fire. Possibly from the scorching noon day sun. We were sitting under the shade, sipping cool drinks. Moments earlier we had driven past, and they had cheered and danced; thinking we were finally delivering aid. But we had not come for them. We had come to visit a friend in the next field

Now we could see them screaming with no water to put the fire out, but still running in to pull their belongings out

There was nothing I could do; so I closed my eyes and prayed: "God, please make it rain." It was midday, just below the Sahara, in the hot season; there wasn't a cloud in the sky

A drop of water landed on my hand. I opened my eyes. What followed was a torrential downpour, that not only put out the fire, but also sent us running for cover

10 minutes later the rain ended; there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the Ugandans I was with said they'd never seen weather like it before

That happened to me in Lira Uganda, 2004. A more recent event of another refugee's home going up in a fireball happened in 2016... But let me tell you about that another time

2004

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