The First Rains Arrive and Break the Dry Spell in Samburu

Mar 27, 2015 | Categories: Camp Life, Other news | 1 Comment

We just had three incredibly challenging days in the field. Our team of warriors (Marco, Yesalai, Lesiamito, Lekoyo and Letoiye) and I were heading back to camp, exhausted, grubby, and overwhelmed. The winds were strong and there was dust blowing everywhere.

Strong, dusty winds picked up just before the rain hit.

As we were driving, we suddenly smelled rain – that unmistakably rich, earthy smell – in the distance. All of us stuck our heads out of the car, sniffing the air with big smiles on our faces.  Marco told me it was exactly what the cows do when they smell the first rains: stick their noses up towards the smell of the rain.

Suddenly, the first rain drops arrived and there was loud cheering in the car as the warriors recited “Ngai! Ngai!” (“God” in the Samburu language) repeatedly. They all turned on their phones and called friends and relatives.

The first rain drops landing on the car windshield.

We saw a group of elephants walk towards us with a new spring in their step, covered with the first rain drops. My favourite moment was when we drove through a large puddle and I heard clapping and cheering at the back of the car. I looked out and Yesalai had two thumbs up cheering loudly saying that if there was a puddle, then it had really rained!

Happy elephants, wet from the rain.

It was very moving being with the warriors when the first rain drops arrived.  They have had incredibly difficult times recently – their cows are suffering greatly from the lack of water and grass. To see relief in their faces and their huge smiles of hope as they searched the skies for more signs of rain was touching. The skies are showing more signs of rain which is encouraging.

– Shivani

A rainbow seen from Ewaso Lions Camp.

Storm clouds in Samburu.

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