The weather this summer is politely described as challenging (if you want more accurate but less polite listen to Robin Williams giving the weather forecast in Good Morning Vietnam). Imagine a fairly bad UK summer; rains a lot, with sunny-cloudy-might-rain days in between. OK, now imagine that the sunny-cloudy-might-rain days in between average 35 degrees, filled with mozzies, and so humid that you end up wishing it would just break and rain again. Then imagine that when it does rain half the city is underwater, and the unpaved roads (the rest of the city and the surrounding villages) have turned to slurry. All this slightly complicated by the fact that everything is cancelled when it rains.
I am still doing summer scheme for another week. The deal is that if it is actually raining at the scheduled start time of 9 a.m. then there will be no summer scheme for the day. This is complicated further by the fact that I am leaving home at 8.10 to go and collect kiddo from the village, so by 8 a.m I have to have predicted whether it will be raining or not in an hour’s time to know whether it is worth collecting him. He lives 10 km down a main road, and then two kilometres up a dirt track. When it rains the dirt-track becomes unpassable till it dries out again, which can take a day or two. In order to find out whether the road is passable I have to text kiddo’s mother (texting being the main form of communication in Argentina, particularly out in places where fixed-line phone technology was superceded before it ever arrived). The bit outside their small-holding usually dries out first because it has been sanded. The bit that dries out last is furthest away from their house, so she has to make a prediction based on what she can see. She doesn’t drive, they don’t have a car; sometimes her predictions are wildly off-beam.
Friday was one of those “The Clash” days (“Should I stay or should I go….?”) I hovered around and looked at the clouds till as late as I dared. I texted kiddo’s mother. She reckoned the road was OK at least so I decided to risk setting off. As I was leaving the city a couple of spots of rain started to fall. I texted mum again. She reckoned it wasn’t going to come to anything. I texted the person in charge of our group at summer scheme. He was just leaving home and reckoned it would still be happening. I drove the 10 kilometres to the start of the dirt track. Looked ominous, I parked up and got out for the multi-sensory inspection. Finding the road to be as soft as it looked, I decided not to drive through it, and texted mum again. She texted back about whether it was walkable. Meanwhile group-leader’s text interrupted our train of thought letting us know that summer scheme had been cancelled for the day anyway. So that was that. So far this week we’ve achieved summer scheme for both Monday and Tuesday, so it will probably rain tomorrow, (you see if it doesn’t, said Eeyore).