I never thought I would miss the rain. It’s been eight months since I have experienced water, dropping in liquid form from the clouds. As a kid I hated the rain, it always messed up my hairstyles, made my mom drive slower, and fogged up my glasses. But now I’m sitting back and appreciating water and what it does for the living things that inhabit the Earth. The first time I experienced rain after living in Abu Dhabi was when I took a trip to Zanzibar, Tanzania. I was sitting around drinking with an Englishmen, South African man and a woman from Switzerland. When it started raining they all moved from the balcony of the restaurant to the sheltered area, but I stuck my body out over the balcony (as furthest I could without dying, lol) to feel the water. It was invigorating, freeing and just…refreshing! The streets felt cleaner after it was over. I’m sure my traveling buddies thought I was crazy for screaming and laughing because it rained…but did I care…NOPE! Cause rain is truly a blessing, plus I never saw them again anyway.
In the UAE people pray for rain. Seriously, pray for it. After one year and a half of living in an urban desert, I get it. Rain just has a way of washing off your sins and making everything feel brand new afterward. It slows us down and makes us pay attention to what we are wearing and fast we are moving.
This summer in Cambodia I stopped by a restaurant to try one of the most famous local cuisines (I forgot the name but if I find a picture I will include it in this post). I decided to sit outside so I could watch the people and observe the comings and goings of the area. A little while after I got my food a woman came by with her baby who had to be about 6 months old, they had rags for clothes and no shoes. This woman took her child and sat on a cardboard box and begged everyone in the area for money. Cambodia is the poorest country I have ever been to with very tenacious people. Initially, I was happy to go there because the meals were so cheap, but it made me cringe as I was sitting in my touristy spot, eating my upscale ($7) meal and this woman needed money to feed her baby.
After I paid for my food, I gave her the change and all of the money out of my pocket. As I walked home, I noticed that the sky was dark, cold and gloomy, Suddenly, it began to rain. I began to cry. I cried harder than I had in months. It hit me that I was in Cambodia, I was eating some the best food for the lowest prices and I just felt so blessed to have that experience. At the same time, I was walking back to my hostel (I got turned around cause I was a little lost, this happens often) I was thinking of the woman and her baby, sitting outside. That day the rain hid my pain from the world. For the first time in my life (that I can remember) I just cried walking down the street and I don’t know why. I think the rain just…let it all flow. I thought about all the struggles I have endured in my life and all the sacrifices that were made by my family members and friends…shoot even my ancestors. So many people had done things to help me get to where I was, and I could be in a million other different scenarios, but I was backpacking in Southeast Asia. So, thank God for the rain.