20 September 2011

Rainy season challenges!

This afternoon I went out for a while to help a colleague find some essential items in town. We took a tuk-tuk, which was a pleasant change for me, and while we were in the store the rains that had been threatening came down quite heavily. The tuk-tuk driver had already installed wet-weather gear on the tuk-tuk, and donned his raincoat, so when we came out there was no problem. We arrived safely back at school, and I headed upstairs to tidy a few things up in my classroom before heading to the markets and then home.

Hmmmm! That's odd, I can hear water dripping, and it sounds awfully close. Looking up from my desk, I noticed that water was steadily dripping into the classroom (well, actually it was running for a while). Now Cambodian construction is somewhat different to Australian construction, and so we have these lovely big sliding glass windows, set into the walls, with virtually no eaves or awnings to provide shelter from the rain. Some houses have awnings, and others have a ledge above the window to prevent some of the water running in, but the windows on the school have nothing like that. If you look at the photo, you can see the ledge around the top floor, but you'll also notice the rest of the windows are pretty much flush with the walls, with no protection. The other catch of course is that it depends which way the winds and rain are coming from. We've had plenty of heavy rain already since school started, but this is the first time I've had it in my classroom. Obviously the wind was blowing just the right way today! It's almost impossible to guess which way it's going to come. Life's like that.

Still, I've got plenty to be grateful for. First of all, where it has come in is the area where the children usually sit on the floor - fortunately I have foam mats for them to sit on, instead of carpet (can't you just imagine if the stink of wet carpet), so I just lifted all the mats up this afternoon when I realised, and I'll get the floor mopped over in the morning. The mats will have air-dried by then. Easy fixed. The kids won't even know there was a problem. Second, because it's my floor area, there were no books in that area, so no books got wet. Third, it was just the window leaking, so it's clean water (not sewage like many get in their homes when it floods here). Fourth, I discovered it this afternoon so could move the mats and get them dry overnight. Fifth, it is only coming in through the windows, and I don't have to cope with the roof leaking in totally unexpected places! Now that I did have to deal with for a couple of rainy seasons at my old school. Sixth, it happened after school, so the children weren't in the classroom, getting wet. So, with lots to be thankful for, I'll finish this post off by mentioning the fact that the rain also cools the atmosphere and makes the air temperature much more pleasant (even if the humidity is still 100% or nearly so). Got to love the rainy season.

Can it be fixed? Who knows! Just another one of the joys of Cambodian construction standards (or lack of them). Mind you, this building is one of the better ones I've seen here. I'll just work around the problem. Praise God that He truly is teaching me to be content with whatever He gives me, and in whatever situation He places me. I never used to be this flexible. God is changing me, little by little (as the old chorus goes).

Little by little every day
Little by little in every way
Jesus is changing me, He's changing me.
Since I've made a turn about face
I've been walking in His grace
Jesus is changing me!

He's changing me,
My precious Saviour,
I'm not the same person that I used to be
Well it's be slow going,
But still there's knowing,
That one day, perfect I will be!

1 comment:

  1. Love your attitude in the midst of unfortunate circumstances. I lost my MacBook last year to rain leaking through our clay tile roof. Disappointed, indeed! But then compared to so many who lost their homes - some even lives - I realized I had no room to complain. Yes, little by little Jesus changes us! Enjoyed your blog.


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