We are officially in the throes of the Rainy Season, and I am much the better for it. Even as I find I am only carrying an umbrella on the days when it remains stubbornly sunny, I feel a great sense of relief whenever the sky turns from glaring blue and white to a mottled gray, whenever the air starts to smell like liquid and a cool breeze shifts through the tro-tro and my sinuses begin to ache from the change in barometric pressure.

So much of the challenge in Ghana, for me, has been the barrage of observation. I am constantly visible. Places where I can hope to be ignored, even for a second, are rare at best, and they’re often places I feel conflicted about walking into–places that seem to be created for obrunis, often to the exclusion of Ghanaians. I go to them sometimes anyway, for the relief, but I always feel tailed by a shadow of guilt.

When it rains, I feel no such tail, but I do experience that sense of relief. I genuinely feel like people look at me less when it is overcast, and of course that’s true when it is pouring, so focused is everyone on getting rubbers (local terminology for plastic bags) around their hair and getting shelter as quickly as possible. (Given that it rains fairly often here during the season, Ghanaians are absolutely frozen by rain–it’s seen as a perfectly reasonable excuse for missing all sorts of things, including my classes. Sigh.) The sun functions as a spotlight, and there is no greater pleasure than being out of it.

Plus, I just like rain. I always have, in spite of the headaches associated with barometric pressure fluctuations. I’m not sure if I would want to live in Seattle, but I’m not really cut out for the tropics either. Rain feels like release, given by the elements. And honestly, I could use that too.

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