The thunderstorm is furious. Every flash of lightning has me cringing in anticipation of the accompanying roar of thunder. The fear is both in the anticipation of the sound and in the knowledge that something, someone was potentially hit. They say that you can measure the distance of a lightning bolt by counting the seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder. One could have hit my neighbour.
As I’ve learned, any electronic device plugged in to an outlet is susceptible to exploding if a lightning bolt heads your way. It doesn’t help that many buildings are in various states of incompleteness, with long protruding metal bars for the possibility of constructing another floor. The poles reach into the sky, seeking communication with the jagged stretches of light. People are also at risk of being electrocuted by lightning bolts. There are various cases in the Mantaro Valley of electrocuted farmers; they are standing in the middle of their farmland with cell phone in hand.
Intense stormy weather, torrential rains and spurts of hail are typical in the Central Andes. They are also typically unpredictable. It can be deathly sunny all day, and then the clouds roll in within minutes. I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying around a portable umbrella. Most people don’t. I think it has to do with the I’ll-take-it-as-it-comes attitude to life that I admire but have a hard time adopting.
As the claps of thunder die down, I feel cozy in my apartment as I listen to the rhythm of the heavy rain. I don’t mind it so much without the shocking, angry thunder. I wonder and worry about the thousands of people who live in adobe clay residences. They must dread the thundershowers when it means water dripping (or cascading) into their homes, muddy floors and wet collapsable walls. I take a look at the brick walls of my apartment and feel safe, until I notice droplets of water on the ceiling. I guess I didn’t ask for this to be easy.
What makes you feel cozy?